tourism

Indigo Dyeing Steeped in Kurume Kasuri Tradition

Make Your Very Own Indigo Art at Aizome Kasuri Kobo (2hrs)

Pure indigo dyeing involves a fermentation process carried out by thousands of microorganisms. In addition to dyeing, this process requires careful management of the living indigo, a test of the skills and steadfastness of the craftsperson. Even among Kurume Kasuri makers, Aizome Kasuri Kobo deals in the most traditional indigo dyeing methods. In this program, first take an inside look at the workshop’s studio space and indigo fields before creating your own piece of art by dyeing cloth or Japanese washi paper with indigo. Through this experience, enjoy the color of rich indigo blue itself.

  • Learn about the process of dyeing indigo and making kasuri textiles
  • Deepen your understanding of indigo through a visit to indigo fields (the indigo leaves can be seen only in spring and summer)
  • Create a fabric panel or a washi tapestry
  • Enjoy Yame tea and sweets in a room enveloped with indigo kasuri
  • If so inclined, purchase Aizome Kasuri Kobo’s kasuri fabric and small goods
Kensuke YamamuraFifth Generation Owner, Aizome Kasuri Kobo
At Aizome Kasuri Kobo, Kensuke is mainly in charge of dyeing. While honoring the methods inherited from his father, Ken, Kensuke builds upon his experiences to create unique innovations. Day after day, Kensuke conducts a taste test of the indigo to check it’s condition, making delicate adjustments as if having a dialogue with the dye. He also explores new frontiers by dyeing materials other than cloth and thread.
Destination Info

A World of Indigo and Geometric Patterns

in 1891, Aizome Kasuri Kobo is a Kurume Kasuri workshop located in Hirokawa, Fukuoka Prefecture. There are two main types of Kurume Kasuri: the indigo dyed, hand woven type, and the chemical dyed, machine woven type. Even amongst weavers that use indigo dye and hand weaving methods, Aizome Kasuri Kobo places particular emphasis on valuing traditional methods. The workshop creates beautiful gradations in the indigo’s color by dyeing pieces over and over, sometimes more than 50 times. They also design geometric patterns through interpretations of traditional motifs, creating pieces with a charm unique to Aizome Kasuri Kobo. The workshop space itself is also beautifully decorated with seasonal plants and flowers. Refarence: Aizome Kasuri Kobo | Trading Company of Area Culture Unagino Nedoko

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The Pursuit of Chikugo Blue

Used all over the world, indigo is said to be the oldest dye known to humans. Even amongst indigos, the dye differs greatly by region. Aizome Kasuri Kobo values the colors and tones unique to Chikugo.When preparing indigo, Kensuke first burns sawtooth oak and adds its ashes to groundwater. Once the ash settles to the bottom, he extracts the top liquid and adds wheat bran and the ash of shells collected from the Ariake Sea, incorporating them all with the indigo to promote its fermentation.

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Program Contents

Learn About Traditional Indigo Dyeing

In this experience, first learn about indigo dyeing and Kurume Kasuri in a room enveloped with the fabrics of Aizome Kasuri Kobo. Then tour the exquisite workshop to see the raw materials and indigo dyeing process for yourself. Afterwards, head to the nearby indigo fields. If you happen to visit during spring or summer, you can catch lush indigo leaves in their full splendor. And if you are lucky, you may even be able to see dyed threads hung up for drying.

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Make and Take Home Your Own Indigo Blue

Create your own piece of art with either fabric or Japanese washi paper, dyeing the material with indigo in monochrome or in a gradation. Seeing the moment when brown indigo turns blue when exposed to air is like watching magic unfold before one’s eyes. Then head back to the fabric-filled workshop room to finish making your art. Those working with textiles can create a fabric panel, while those working with washi can create a tapestry. Also enjoy Yame tea and sweets prepared by Kensuke’s mother.

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コード

GFHK03

スケジュール

09:55(13:55)
Meet at Aizome Kasuri Kobo
※There is another kasuri studio next door run by craftspeople with the same last name (Yamamura). Please be careful not to mix up the workshops.

10:00(14:00)

Lecture, Tour of the Indigo Dyeing Space and Indigo Fields
※Since the main production steps are carried out by Yamamura family members only, there may be instances when guests cannot see the weaving process during their visit.


10:30(14:30)

Create Art


12:30(16:30)

Commemorative Photo

Meeting Place
Aizome Kasuri Kobo
241 Naganobu, Hirokawa, Yame, Fukuoka Prefecture 〒834-0105
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ご注意
  • This is an experience program where guests arrange transportation themselves to and from the meeting place.
  • UNA Laboratories staff will not accompany guests on this program.
  • Included in the program fee is domestic travel insurance provided by JI Accident & Fire insurance Co., Ltd (2.58 million yen in the event of death, 3,000 yen per day in the event of hospitalization, 1,600 yen per day for non-overnight hospital visits, 10 million yen for personal liability. However, children who participate in the program for free are not covered by this insurance plan.
  • The tour will be held even in the event of rain, barring cases of inclement weather such as heavy rain or a typhoon.
  • All of the photographs displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. Also please note that as the workshop is not a tourist attraction, the processes that visitors can see may change depending on the day, and there may be days when some machines may not be running.
  • Children of elementary school age and younger may participate in the tour with a parent or guardian. However, UNA Laboratories or Shimogawa Textiles shall not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur in the parking lot or during the tour. In particular, when touring the factory, please keep an eye on your child/children to make sure that they do not touch the machines.
  • This tour may be cancelled in the event that its smooth implementation becomes difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the event of cancellation, the tour fee will be fully refunded.

UNA Laboratories COVID-19 Policy

UNA Laboratories is committed to ensuring the safety of our customers, staff, and community. In accordance with municipal, national, and industry guidelines for the prevention of infectious diseases, UNA Laboratories is implementing the following measures:

  1. 1. Guides will wear a face shield during tours.
  2. 2. Guests are requested to wear a mask.
  3. 3. Hand-sanitizing alcohol will be provided.
  4. 4. We will check your temperature and general physical condition at the start of the tour. UNA Laboratories reserves the right to refuse tour participation if a customer’s temperature is over 37 degrees Celsius.
  5. 5. We strive to maintain adequate social distance throughout the tour, so the maximum number of participants will be capped at six.

Travel Planning: Implementation

  • UNA Laboratories Inc. (Fukuoka Prefectural Governor Registration #2-951)
  • 3-12-22-302 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0022
  • TEL: 092-982-7956E-MAIL: tour@unalabs.jp
  • Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors:
    Aya Tamura, Noriko Yahata, Rei Watanabe
  • Business Hours:
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)
  • *Requests received outside of business hours will be processed the following business day.
  • *Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors are responsible for transactions held at the sales office that processes customers’ travel. Please do not hesitate to contact the aforementioned Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors with any questions or concerns regarding the travel contract.

Tour Information

Dates
・Saturday 14:00〜
・Sunday 10:00〜
2/20(Sun),2/27(Sun) 10:00〜,3/5(Sat),3/12(Sat)14:00〜,4/3(Sun),4/10(Sun),4/17(Sun),4/24(Sun) 10:00〜
※The tour will not be held on dates marked with (-) on the reservation form.
Duration
2〜3Hours
Recommended Age
Suitable for All Ages
Price
13,900yen (tax included)
Remarks
※material fee included
※Participants under 12 years old: ¥10,000 (tax and material fee included)Participants under 18 years old (factory tour only): free