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Nagoya Kuromontsukizome

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In Edo period (1603-1867), dyeing was one of the big industry done by special artisans. Nagoya Kuromontsukizome was began when one retainer family of daimyo (a feudal lord) became the head of dyeing industry in Owari domain being approved by Tokugawa Ieyasu (The founder of Tokugawa shogunate).

The family firstly dyed the flags and banners for Owari domain, and later in Edo period, samurais and citizens asked them to dye their kimono with family crest. Since then, pitch-black with clearly dyed family crest became the excellence of this art.

As traditional method of Nagoya Kuromontsukizome, two types of dyeing are known.

One is “Hitashi Zome (soaking)”. To cover the crest, pattern paper is put on the certain place to protect against dyeing. For the sharp edge, wire nets called “Mon-ate Kanaami” is also set to the face and the back so that the pattern paper is firmly set and avoid blur. It can make the soaking longer for deeper black.

Another is “Hiki Zome (brushing)”. The crest is covered by starches for protection, and the base fabric is colored by equally brushed on. It requires very careful practice to avoid unevenness. Torobiki Kurozome is especially known for its brightness as the result of special recipe of its dye. After the dyeing, the family crest is drawn by hand on undyed part.

Nagoya Kuromontsukizome can be considered representing the Japanese sense of tradition of families by creating kimonos of noble black and clear white for formal situation.

Nagoya Kuromontsukizome was designated as Traditional Craft by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1983.


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