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Sunrise on Cloth: Hinode Shibori

Written on June 1, 2011

It’s been unseasonally hot and humid in New York; it feels more like August than early June.   My comment on this is to show a traditional Japanese garment, a yukata, that has been dyed in the shibori method, showing a pattern called hinode or sunrise.Yukata are cooling, casual garments–they’re unlined, cotton kimono which are worn about town in summer, especially during festivals or other social events.   Yukata are worn at home, too.  Imagine coming home from work, taking a relaxing, cleansing soak in the tub, then slipping into a comfortable yukata; until recently, if your home didn’t have a bath room, you’d wear your yukata to and from the public bath.Yukata are still worn in Japan–go to an onsen or hot spring, or stay in a ryokan or traditional inn, and the yukata will be the de rigueur outfit during your stay.  Western style hotels in Japan also provide in-house yukata in every room.Unfortunately, today’s commercially produced yukata are no where near as beautiful as this one, which is made from hand loomed cotton and is dyed in botanical indigo using a complex process of stitching and tying.  The puckering of the fabric–still very much evident–shows how the cotton was shape resisted before it was dyed.This stunning yukata dates to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century and comes from Japan’s shibori center, the town of Arimatsu, near Nagoya,  in Aichi Prefecture.

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  1. Comment by Angela:

    This is a beautiful yukata. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last year and we had a treat and stayed at a ryokan (traditional japanese inn). We donned our yukata on arrival and did not wear western clothes again until we left! Very liberating! I am desperately trying to collect cotton yukata before we leave Tokyo and I managed to pick up a beautiful indigo dyed one which is resist dyed I think with ginko leaves, it’s so beautiful. I am hoping to pick up a couple more before the big move back to Europe, and to wear them as bathrobes and have even had my husband and daughter trying them on too! Maybe I can pick something up for our little malti-poo too, this is Japan after all!

    June 1, 2011 @ 8:36 am

  2. Comment by velma:

    i could wear this!

    June 1, 2011 @ 3:52 pm