I used to go to Sakata city a lot when I lived in Yuza. Some parts of it have changed a lot - there are big retail parks on the outskirts and some of the big shops I used to go to (like the Jusco and Daiei department stores, which had good craft/sewing departments) have been demolished - but there are always new things to discover. During my trip in November, we went to Sakata several times, including to the city museum, where we saw a display of Shonai sashiko by the Hirata Sashiko group. When I began stitching Shonai sashiko, the only reference materials I had were samplers stitched by Chie Ikeda and Hirata Sashiko's book (published, I think, by Hirata town council and not easy to get hold of).
We also visited the 'Sanno Club'. This interesting building was a restaurant in Meiji and Taisho times, where the local geisha entertained. In the gift shop, there were some koginzashi displays. Kogin is the counted sashiko from Aomori prefecture, which takes its name from koginu, a kind of work jacket.
Yumeji Takehisa, a Japanese artist of the Taisho era, visited the Sanno Club many times. You will probably know some of his works, as he is popular today. The cartoons below must have been sketched at the Sanno Club.
The tea green colour in this tokonuma alcove is lovely and refreshing.
Upstairs there was an exhibition of Kabuki and Noh costumes. Most were hung from the ceiling, so we could see them from both sides. As these textiles are designed for the stage, the patterns tend to be bold and not so finely detailed as normal kimono. Many are re-creations of very old patterns too.
This guide shows you all the different items on the umberellas - flowers, fish, the 'collection of treasures' etc.
The edge of the umberella has a red fabric trim an the individual charms hang on strings.
Here's a detail -
I liked the takarazukushi (collection of treasures) themed kasafuku best, but that's a collection of motifs I like. The shapes are interesting and something a bit different, while the symbols have good meanings - the lucky mallet (shake for good luck), the never ending money bag, the hat and coak of invisibility, treasure house key etc. I suggested to Reiko that she should make a sashiko version - or maybe I will.
I use some of the takarazukushi as block designs in 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match'.
This is the foyer at the Sanno Club. What an amazing place!