June 30, 2011

Arimatsu Shibori Festival

Arimatsu Shibori Festival was one of the highlights of my trip to Japan. The festival happens annually on the first weekend in June. It was luck or good planning as it happens that my friend Ayako and I were on our way to Tokyo that weekend. We stopped in Nagoya which is only 25 minutes by local train to Arimatsu. We stayed for two nights in a ryokan. I thought I knew a lot about Shibori and even took a workshop on Shibori techniques, but what I saw at the festival was amazing! As soon as we stepped out from the train station we saw the street lined with every kind of Shibori from children outfits, umbrellas, hats, shirts, fabric, kimonos etc... I spent both days at the festival and enjoyed every minute of my visit there. 

They were demonstrations of different Shibori techniques by the lovely ladies, the same ladies I saw on a YouTube video. It was exciting to see their work in person! For a small fee you can make Shibori yourself and dye it right there. Both indigo and natural dyes were available for us to use. 

On my second day I came across these adorable boys enjoying the icy crust on the side of the road. I asked their mother permission for a photo. You got to love them in Shibori outfits. How very cute!

The map of the Festival was posted at the beginning of the street. It's mainly one long street with lanes going off each side. You have to be so careful not to miss any of the activities that are there. 

It was a very hot day and everyone seemed to be queuing to buy umbrellas. No I didn't get one even though I was so hot that day! 

These are only some of the things made from Shibori fabric. The Shibori fabric used in clothing is very stylish. I love the jacket on the right. 

This stall sells all natural dye items dyed by the lady next to me. I only bought the one I was wearing. I would have bought everything from that stall if I had more $$$!

Abundant Shibori fabric for sale. You have to get the whole bundle when you buy. They do not cut them per yard at this shop.

Some kimono displayed in front of a famous house that once used to be a prime Shibori producer. 

I met Yoshiko Wada there. She is the author of the 'Shibori' book and the founder of World Shibori Network. She took a tour there. She is well known at the Festival. She asked if she knew me, I told her yes we are friends on 'facebook'! 

Rack full of Shibori garments. I did buy a very cool hat from there. I will show it off on my next post under shopping. 

These were the show pieces being displayed at the Shibori Center where all the demonstrations were taking place. They were really gorgeous up close. 

I did say it was a hot day. I normally carry a hat, but silly me, I've left it in my luggage at the hotel so the Shibori scarf came in handy as a head scarf! With me is Shizuka Ayako's friend from Melbourne. Shizuka now lives in Hiroshima. 

I want to show you this photo of the lovely lady tying the Shibori at the speed of lightning! Can you see how my camera couldn't focus on her hand, because her hands were moving so fast! 

This little stall tucked away almost at the end of the street was the place I bought my Sakabukuro and boro pieces from. I went back to the Festival for a second day just to pick up the Sakabukuro she brought for me. I didn't have enough Japanese Yen, but she kindly accepted my Australian dollars for it. 

Here is more Shibori fabric on display at the various venues on the street.

If you ask me, was the trip to Arimatsu Shibori Festival worth it? Yes, it worth every cent I spent to get there. I cannot tell you how I felt just being there! Walking among the lovely crowd of people who love the same thing as I do 'Shibori'.  The Festival was well run and highly organized. Yes I will go back again next time I'm in Japan.  

I hope you have enjoyed reading my Japan journal so far. I'm glad I could share it with you. Reflecting on my visit in this blog freshens up my memory of everything I did there. 

I got a lovely compliment from a Japanese lady about my Japan journal. This is what she said: I read your blog.  It is well organized and it made me smile since I understood a lot.  I am very impressed the way you captured beauty of Japan. I'm so delighted to get such a compliment. 

Don't miss the next installment of my journal. It's going to be on 'shopping in Japan'....!


Anonymous said...

please tell . . . was your head swimming and swirling
feasting on all those beautiful fabrics and patterns!
oh. my. word. how do you choose?
and all those new faces and friends . . . a treasure
to hold in your heart for always. i am in awe and look
forward to seeing more :* )

deanna7trees said...

magnificent pictures. so many beautiful things that i don't know how you chose what to buy. can't wait to see 'shopping'.

Needled Mom said...

I would have wanted to buy it all!!!!! The shibori is just gorgeous.

I loved the picture of the children in their outfits and was fascinated at the photo of the lady's hands working so quickly.

Bev C said...

Hello Nat,

What a wonderful festival. I am so glad you got to go. Love all the stalls, I don't know how you picked something out I would have wanted it all!!!
Happy days.

Simone de Klerk said...

Wow, Nat, it is as if I am right in the middle of this great Festival. You did a wonderful job, showing us what you saw and giving us the feeling.
And what a wonderful compliment from the Japanese lady. She has a fast eye to see through people's work!
I'm looking forward to your next post!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

1Hi Nat...I think you will look back on this journal often in the future!!! How cute are those 2 little boys...the Shibori is lovely,it would be hard to choose...I look forward to your next shopping post...I love shopping!!! Wishing you a great weekend...love Dzintra

Anonymous said...

wow that sure was one power packed post, I'm going to have to read it again, it all sounds very exciting.


ria vogelzang said...

I love your post!! What a lovey boys and all that Shibori....... it must have been a real treat!!!
Enjoy your weekend! Love, Ria.

kaiteM said...

the old lady who worked so fast, she would have been wonderful to see. such a treasure.

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

Hi Nat - at that lovely lady might have added "and your photos are beautiful"

I know I do love coming here for the photos as much as the words.

Peggy said...

Nat, I agree with every single compliment you've already received here. You really do give us a "virtual" mini-tour of your travels. Just so much fun and I'm really happy for you that you went because you look so happy in your photos!

Terry said...

Thank you for a wonderful visit to the festival. The shibori is awesum..

Karen said...

I love reading your Japan journal and look forward to the next installment. Such a fabulous trip!

Lis Harwood said...

Thank you for sharing your visits to the festival, it all looks so wonderful. I'm keen to see what you bought as I think I would have been so overwhelmed by all that loveliness that it would have been difficult to choose. It's interesting to see that the patterns are not all what I would recognise as traditional shibori, some seem to be very modern looking designs. Love the whole idea of a festival dedicated to shibori, wonderful.

QuiltSue said...

It all looks so fascinating, I'm really enjoying your trip, thank you.

Lynda Howells said...

oh Nat what an amazing visit......l would give anything to do a trip like this. Everything is so amazing and bright. the two little boys are adorable.xxthanks for sharing your journey with usxxxxlynda

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting such wonderful pictures, the memories will last a lifetime. truly amazing work. have you seen the DVD "Arimatsu - Narumi SHIBORI" Eng. narration by Yoshiko Wada? I is worth watching over and over.

Ivory Spring said...

Hi Natima,

Long time no chat. I see that you have been busy and enjoying life, which I know you would be. :)

Love those fabrics!


Moon Goddess said...

Japan looks fascinating! Love all the fabrics. I can relate...too many wonderful things, too little luggage space. I am waiting for the airlines to start charging by the pound. Then us thin girls can put all the weight into our luggage!

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