May 20, 2013 Japan

Koyata Okonogi-san’s silk worm farm

He uses an older breed of silkworm from the Edo era to reproduce finer quality silk. Lime is sprinkled on the worms and leaves to keep them dry.

Silk worms and mulberry leaves with a dusting of lime

Noriko is his apprentice.

Awareness of how alive textiles are here. From raising silkworms and spinning the silk to tending the indigo vats for dyeing cotton. People here dye, weave, spin, sew, and have their own specialized hobbies or businesses. Younger people want to be artists too, but have regular jobs to get by and do art in their spare time.

Wooden hand-crank silk reeling machines

Motoji Kimonoya in Ginza with Megumi tomorrow.

In traffic heading to Ginza, racetrack next to the road is enormous.

Gracery Hotel for four nights. Time to pack kimono to ship home? Or get extra suitcase? Dinner at 6:30, meet in lobby, 2nd floor.

  • Tuesday – kimono shopping with Megumi
  • Wednesday – visit Kamakura
  • Thursday – Yokohama Silk Center
  • Friday – head home

Even the road construction vehicles have traditional rush brooms! New and old, heavy and fine, rough and delicate.

In Tokyo traffic. Two men in a rowboat on the river alongside packed freeways. Peaceful.

More details in my previous post, From Caterpillar to Kimono: a Journey in Silk, part 1

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