Create Your Own Azuma Bag at Nomura Textile（~1hr 45min）
Nomura Textile is a Kurume Kasuri weaver based in Hirokawa Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. The easy-to-understand factory tour led by owner Shutaro Nomura makes the tour popular also among visitors who are experiencing Kurume Kasuri for the first time. After the tour, choose your two favorite fabrics from Nomura Textile’s colorful selection of Kurume Kasuri and sew them together to create your very own azuma bag, an Edo Period (1603-1867) version of the modern reusable bag. The bags can be completed with a simple straight stitch, but for those who find it difficult to sew, staff can help by stitching the bag together with a sewing machine. There are also many unique Kurume Kasuri clothing pieces, such as one-piece dresses and wide pants, available for purchase at the Nomura Textile shop.
- ● Tour the Kurume Kasuri factory led by its owner, Shutaro Nomura
- ● Choose your favorite two Kurume Kasuri fabrics and sew them together into an azuma bag
- ● Sew the bag with simple straight stitches. Staff can also help with a sewing machine.
- ● Hear from Shutaro and Sayaka Nomura about their passion for Kurume Kasuri
- ● Shop for Kurume Kasuri pants, skirts, accessories, and cut fabrics at the Nomura Textile shop
Kurume Kasuri: One of the Three Great Japanese Kasuri Textiles
Kasuri is a textile-making technique. Threads are dyed beforehand in specific configurations so that patterns appear when the fabric is woven through either the weft threads, warp threads, or both. Kasuri techniques are said to have originated in India, from where it then spread across the world; the weaving technique came to Japan through Okinawa. Kurume Kasuri was created by a young woman named Den Inoue around the year 1800, and refers to kasuri fabric that is woven in the former Kurume feudal domain (which includes the modern-day towns of Hirokawa, Chikugo, and Yame). Currently, fewer than 20 Kurume Kasuri weavers remain, the production area unique in the wide variety of weaving techniques among makers, which range from traditional hand-weaving and indigo-dying to power shuttle loom-weaving.
Nomura Orimono: Weaving in Tradition
Established in 1898, Nomura Textile is a long-standing weaver located in Hirokawa Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. A traditional maker with high technical skills, Nomura Textile weaves highly difficult weft-warp kasuri patterns as well as classic Kurume Kasuri patterns. The company machine-weaves and uses chemical dyes, but dyes its own threads, a process other Kurume Kasuri weavers often outsource. And though the kasuri is machine-woven, Nomura Textile uses 100 year-old Toyota automatic looms to create their fabric. One craftsperson is assigned to four looms to make adjustments — operating and maintaining each machine with care.
An Accessible Kurume Kasuri Factory Tour
Making Kurume Kasuri requires about 30 distinct steps from the initial dyeing to final weaving. Tour the impressive Nomura Textile factory under the guidance of its owner, Shutaro Nomura, who will provide easy-to-understand explanations of how Kurume Kasuri is made.
Make an Azuma Bag, the Edo-Period Reusable Bag
The Azuma bag is said to have originated in the Edo Period, when common folk created simple bags from leftover hand towels and kimono fabric after seeing Westerners’ bags. Azuma bags made from 100% cotton Kurume Kasuri can be folded into a compact size and easily washed, making them an easy eco-friendly way to incorporate Kurume Kasuri into your lifestyle.
＼Testimonials From Past Participants／
- ・Seeing all the colorful Kurume Kasuri fabrics lined up across the table made my heart race with excitement. It was really interesting hearing about the history and unique characteristics of Kurme Kasuri, which made me even more excited for the factory tour that followed. We were also able to catch a glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Nomura’s friendly personalities, which really made the tour light up.
- ・This tour was very fun and exciting; it was truly a valuable experience to see the entire kasuri-making process (except for thread typing) step-by-step through this program.
- ・I was impressed hearing from Mr. and Mrs. Nomura about the history of the Kurum Kasuri craft. It was amazing to see how the efforts of past craftmakers helped keep the Kurume Kasuri craft alive.
- ・Because I got great advice when picking fabrics so that I could choose fabrics that I liked, I was really looking forward to seeing the finished bag even before I began sewing.
Minimum 2 / Maximum 2
Seven days before the start of the tour
Advance payment by credit card (VISA, Mastercard, Amex,) through the application form sent upon confirmation of reservation.
3 to 1 day(s) preceding the tour start date: 50% of the tour fee
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
- Monday-Friday 10:30~
- ~1 hour 45 minutes
- Recommended Age
- Suitable for All Ages
※ For those who have difficulty sewing by hand, simply pick two of your favorite Kurume Kasuri textiles and Nomura Textile can help you finish the bag with a sewing machine.
- 5,800yen (tax included)
- ※Material fee included
※Participants under 12 years old: ¥3,500 (tax and material fee included)
※Participants under 12 years old (workshop tour only): free