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The World of Yukata and Japanese Indigo

The World of Yukata and Japanese Indigo

The Japanese indigo plant has long been used in Japan as a dye in the creation of clothing and textile products, from as far back as the Nara period (710 - 794) right up to the present day. As cotton became more ubiquitous in the middle of the Edo period (1603 - 1867), so too did the yukata forge a strong link with Japanese indigo dye, developing into an article of clothing representative of the medium. Even today, Japanese people feel a warm familiarity with an indigo dyed yukata.
This exhibit looks back over the history and changes that the yukata has seen, introducing everything from fashion pieces to works of modern art, and all based in the two keywords of “yukata” and “Japanese indigo.” There is a rich variety of articles on display, from Edo period indigo dyed clothing, to clothing of indigo dyed silk worn by ladies-in-waiting in the Imperial Court, to yukata exquisitely dyed using the nagaita-chugata technique. The exhibit also features pieces from a varied selection of modern proponents of the yukata, including Kotaro Shimizu (1897-1988), who was a living national treasure (holder of important intangible culture property) for his traditional nagaita-chugata techniques; Sadakichi Matsubara (1893-1955) and his grandson Nobuo Matsubara (1965- ); the fashion brand matohu, which has taken traditional indigo dyeing and evolved it through incorporation into modern clothing; Kumiko Mori (1959- ), who researches the history of Japanese indigo in Tokushima, the source of the plant, while also creating indigo dyed textiles with a focus on natural fermentation; and Shihoko Fukumoto (1945- ), who has elevated Japanese indigo as a form of expression from clothing to modern art. Immerse yourself in the shared world of the yukata and Japanese indigo, and explore the varied branches they have taken together across the generations.

"Indigo-died Cotton Fabric Dyed Sample Yukata"
Edo period, Collection of Konjaku-Imamura

Matsubara Nobuo
"Nagaita-Chugata, Navyblue-dyed Cotton Carp in Running Water pattern Yukata"
2010-19, Collection of Matsubara Nobuo

Fukumoto Shihoko
"Zodiac" 1998, Collection of Fukumoto Shihoko


July 17(Sat.), 2021- August 29 (Sun.),2021


Monday(the following weekday if Monday is a holiday)

9:30 - 17:00 (Entry until 16:30)
Friday - Saturday: 9:30 - 19:00 (Entry until 18:30)

Telephone Inquiry:
Takamatsu Art Museum
TEL +81-87-823-1711

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10-4 Konyamachi,Takamatsu,Kagawa,Japan 760-0027
TEL +81-87-823-1711 FAX +81-87-851-7250
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