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Hakata Ori (woven textile)


Hakata, current northern Kyushu area in Fukuoka prefecture, was known as “Chikuzen” in old days. As the area is facing to the Korean peninsula, Hakata has been an international city. Hakata Ori was begun by one merchant in Hakata, Mitsuta Yasoemon, who brought Chinese weaving technique from Chinese So dynasty with En-ni Ben-en, a Japanese Buddhist monk, in 1241.

Until Edo era (1603-1867), artisans created fabrics following the technique and developed the originality, that is, using high volume of the warp and yarn dyed silk in five colors (blue, red, indigo, yellow, and violet) or gold or silver thread.

At the beginning of Edo, the famous samurai and first leader of Fukuoka domain, Kuroda Nagamasa started to present Hakata Ori to Tokugawa Shogunate as kimono clothes and kimono sashes. Such fabrics were called such as “Hakata kenjo” and treated as a high-quality fabric.

To retain the quality, Fukuoka domain leaders strictly regulated the artisans of Hakata Ori, and the number of producers was limited to 12 houses. As the result of that, the very traditional ways of weaving, the quality, and the patterns have been kept.

The feature of Hakata Ori is its thickness for the large number of the warp. The patterns are decided before dyeing, and yarn dyed threads are precisely set on a

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