【Oita/Kunisaki】From Glueing to Dyeing in the World of Yotsume Dyehouse

A One-Day Katazome Stencil Dyeing Experience (5hrs)

A craftsperson carefully explains each step
Choose your favorite pattern from Yotsume Dyehouse’s designs
Browse and purchase items at the gallery shop
Experience katazome up to the dyeing step
An array of stencils line the workshop

Yotsume Dyehouse, located in Kunisaki City, Oita Prefecture, produces artwork using traditional Japanese techniques such as katazome stencil dyeing and tsutsugaki freehand resist dyeing —all under the motto “bringing dyeing into our everyday lives.” Owner and textile artist Toyokazu Ono is behind the workshop’s beautiful, creative designs. In this program, experience nearly every step of the craftmaking process, from making resist-dye paste to the dyeing itself; use Ono’s original katazome stencils to create your very own table runner. Although stencil dyeing is delicate work, a craftsperson will carefully guide you through the process so even beginners can join in.

  • Experience nearly all the process of stencil dyeing in one day
  • Make a table runner with Yotsume Dyehouse’s original designs
  • Learn katazome techniques directly from the craftsperson, Toyokazu Ono
  • Get an inside look at workshops not usually open to the public
  • Shop at the Yotsume Dyehouse gallery store
Toyokazu OnoYotsume Dyehouse Owner and Founder / Katazome Artist & Designer
Born 1982 in Hiroshima Prefecture. His family runs a dyehouse called Hoeido Dye Factory, established in 1895. After graduating from the graphic design department of Hiroshima Art Seminary, Ono worked as an apprentice at Yoshida Hataten in Gifu Prefecture before joining his family’s dye busines. While working there, Ono’s desire to create his own designs grew stronger, and in 2014 he became independent. The following year, Ono moved to Kunisaki City, Oita prefecture and launched Yostume Dyehouse, where he continues to produce works and designs using traditional techniques such as katazome stencil dyeing and tsutsugaki freehand resist dyeing.
Desination Info

Katazome: A Traditional Japanese Dyeing Technique

A traditional Japanese dyeing technique, katazome is a technique in which a craftsperson uses stencils to apply resist-dye paste on fabric to create patterns. Its history stretches back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333), and by the Edo period (1603-1868) katazome had become a technique used for a variety of everyday fabrics, such as kimonos and noren curtains, due to its mass-producibility and diversity of patterns. Yotsume Dyehouse uses two techniques: katazome stencil dyeing with traditional rice paste, and tsutsugaki, a method of dyeing without stencils by free-hand drawing with resist-dye paste.

Layering dyes on fabric covered with resist-dye paste

Creative Endeavours Amidst Kunisaki’s Natural Ecosystem

Toyokazu Ono studied graphic design with the expectation that he would eventually take over the family dyeing studio. But after briefly returning to his hometown to help with the family business, he moved to Kunisaki City in Oita Prefecture with his wife, ceramic artist Miki Oka, to devote himself to creative activities using his own designs. In Kunisaki, an area rich in nature, surrounded by mountains and sea, Ono has been creating a flurry of beautiful textile designs inspired by the surrounding flora and fauna, along with local traditions such as the Kebesu Festival.

A noren curtain with a susuki silvergrass motif

Program Contents

Learn the Fundamentals of Katazome in One Day

In this program, experience the main processes of katazome in one day: from making glue to dyeing fabric. First mix resist-dye paste by combining rice glue, bran and quicklime (calcium oxide), and place the glue on the fabric using a beautiful, original stencil created by Yotsume Dyehouse. Carefully removing the stencil reveals the paste applied to areas of the fabric that will remain white through the dyeing process. In the afternoon, blend dyes and paint over the dried fabric with a brush.

Removing the stencil brings the pattern to life

A Table Runner Made with Yotsume Dyehouse’s Stencils

The hemp table runner made by Yotsume Dyehouse, also sold in their shop, is an excellent way to easily introduce dyed goods as an interior accent to any room. Pick your favorite design from several original stencils created by the dyehouse, and make your very own table runner. Please note that this program only allows time for experiencing katazome until the fabric dyeing step. Finishing touches will be done by Yotsume Dyehouse, and the final product will be mailed to you at a later date.

Katazome created from beautiful designs

Tour Code



Tours are currently on hold. (Requests for observation-only visits are accepted)

*Request type: Please send us your preferred dates using the inquiry form. We will check availability and get back to you.


5 hours



Gather at Yotsume Dyehouse, lecture


Choose stencil pattern, make glue


Apply resist-dye paste



※Lunch is not included in the tour price. Please bring your own lunch, or we will recommend nearby lunch spots.


Apply funori coating and make dye


Dyeing and finishing


Wrap-up and shopping



Supplementary explanations in English via translation device or lecture board can be provided upon request. Please make a note in the message box during registration to request this service.

※An English interpreter can also be arranged for an additional fee. Please contact UNA Laboratories for more details.


Minimum 2 / Maximum 6

Meeting Place
Yotsume Dyehouse, Gallery Suzume-gusa
252-15 Kunimimachi Imi, Kunisaki, Oita Prefecture
※For those coming by car, please park next to the gallery.
Reservation Deadline
3 days before the start of the tour
Payment Method

Advance payment at the time of reservation (VISA, Mastercard, Amex, JCB)


Dye paints will be used in this program, so please wear clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting dirty.

Please Note
  • The tour will be held even in the event of rain, barring cases of inclement weather such as heavy rain or a typhoon.
  • All photos displayed on the website are for illustrative purposes only. As the workshop is not a tourist attraction, please note that the degree to which guests may enter the workshop may differ from day to day.
  • Guests who are under elementary school age may attend the tour accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, UNA Laboratories and Yotsume Dyehouse shall not assume any responsibility for accidents/injuries that occur in the parking lot and/or during the tour. Especially during the workshop visit, please keep an eye on younger guests as to not touch the equipment.
  • We advise taking out domestic travel insurance when participating in this tour.
  • 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.
Cancellation Policy

3 to 1 day(s) preceding the tour start date: 50% of the tour fee
Before departure on the tour start date: 100% of the tour fee
After the start of tour or no-show: 100% 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:
  • 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

Tours are currently on hold. (Requests for observation-only visits are accepted)
5 hours
Recommended Age
16,800yen (tax included)
※Material fee included
※8,400 yen for guests under 18. Guests under 18 can accompany a parent or guardian on the studio visit (without the katazome experience) for free.