Monday, 16 January 2017

Akie Ginza's sashiko centre

On Sunday, we had another adventure, traveling by bus and train to Akie Ginza's sashiko centre at Hinohara village, west of Tokyo.   I think quite a few textile tours go there, but getting there without a tour bus is quite a trip.

From Tokyo, we took the train to Musashiitsukaichi where we changed to the bus for the last part of the journey.  The bus took almost an hour and is quite infrequent, so you need to plan this trip very well.  We went with Reiko Domon, Chie Ikeda and Akie Sakuraba from Yuza Sashiko, with Reiko's sister and her brother in law.

Here is the current bus timetable - the red times refer to Sundays.

Outside Musashiitsukaichi station, by the bus stop.

 We got off the bus at Nango and walked up to the house.

The bus stop.

After the bend, we turned right up a narrow country lane.

This is Akie Ginza's house.  The location is very rural and beautiful.

The house is a traditional Japanese farmhouse.  We entered through the genkan, where there was a booth like in a museum.

Two flights of stairs reached up to her main gallery.

The rooms are full of Akie Ginza's amazing sashiko works.  They are bold, strong designs, which reveal her origins as a fine artist.

Ginza-sensei uses sashiko threads in an interesting way, doubling threads or using different thicknesses to create special effects.  She also used a lot of colour in her work.

She has also designed many items of clothing, displayed in other galleries.

The whole house is full of her creations.

We watched an interesting video about her life and work.  Ginza-sensei started as a fine artist but later changed to being a textile artist.

She already had my book, which was a big honour for me!  I have one of her books at home, but there were some others available in her shop, so I had to get another one as a reminder of our trip.

You can also buy her exclusive sashiko materials in the shop.

We walked back to the village together.  It was so cold!

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