Oshima Tsumugi for the future, for the world. Hajime Shoji
Oshima Tsumugi is textile created in Amami Oshima using distinctive dyeing and weaving techniques. These techniques are unparalleled globally and can only be created in Amami Oshima. Oshima Tsumugi textile has been used primarily for kimonos, a traditional Japanese garment. Hajime Shoji, now in its seventh generation, is a creator and manufacturing wholesaler of Oshima Tsumugi. Despite the wonderful tradition in and technique used to create Oshima Tsumugi, production of Oshima Tsumugi has been in decline due to the decline in consumption of kimonos by Japanese people. However, with new innovation and inspiration, we are pursuing「Restoring Oshima Tsumugi Project」in order to pass on Oshima Tsumugi to the next generation.
Our most earnest passion is 「not to stop the sound of the weaving loom」.What is most important for tradition is to enable its continuity.We will continue our efforts to inform not only Japan but also the world of the wonders of Oshima Tsumugi.
How to Create Oshima Tsumugi
1. Kasuri Technique:
Kasuri is a type of woven textile with patterns created using dyed silk thread. A distinctive quality in Oshima Tsumugi is the beauty in the delicate dotted patterns. In Amami, the silk thread for Kasuri is created by using shimebata (binding loom). The silk thread is bound tightly with cotton by using the shimebata. This process prevents the thread from being dyed thereby creating the intricate patterns in the design.
2. Teichigi Dyeing:
Chipped trunk of the teichigi (yeddo hawthown shrub) is boiled for roughly 14 hours in a large vat to create a dark rouge liquid. The kasurimushiro (textile weaved by using shimebata) is dyed in in the dark rouge liquid over and over again until the kasurimushiro turns dark rouge.
3. Mud Dyeing:
After having dyed the kasurimushiro in the teichigi liquid over roughly 20 times, the kasurimushiro is dyed in mud four to five times.The tannic acid in teichigi and the iron in the mud turns the colour to a distinctive black tone which cannot be replicated using chemical dyes.
4. Hand Weaving:
The cotton thread and silk thread are unraveled and the cotton thread is removed.The silk thread is woven by hand using a loom. For each woven seven centimeters of textile, the weaver adjusts the weft and warp using a needle to ensure the threads are perfectly aligned in order to create a clear pattern in the textile. If the pattern is complex, this weaving process alone can take up to several months of work.
「Restoring Oshima Tsumugi Project」: Restore your Unsused Oshima Tsumugi Textile
「Restoring Oshima Tsumugi Project」is an attempt to recycle and reuse Oshima Tsumugi textile which is tucked away in your chest of drawers, by creating new textile through rag weaving. Do not worry if there are stains or rips in your Oshima Tsumugi.
Cut the Oshima Tsumugi into 5mm width textile, then weave the textile with silk thread on the Oshima Tsumugi loom. A coarsely woven new style of rag weaving Oshima Tsumugi textile will be created.
Depending on the customer’s preference, even clothes and bags can be created using this new rag weaving Oshima Tsumugi textile.
New products using traditional Amami craftsmanship. AMAMIMAMA
「AMAMIMAMA」 is the name of the brand for products created by the inspiration of Hajime Shoji, including the rag weaving textile.
「AMAMIMAMA」can be read both forwards and backwards and is a symbol of a recycling society to which we aspire and which we have incorporated into our business model. 「AMAMIMAMA」means 「the true features of Amami = bespoke to Amami, that of Amami」in Japanese.
Outline of Hajime Shoji
Name of the company: Hajime Shoji Inc.
Address: 30-1 Nazeariyacho Amami-shi Kagoshima-ken JAPAN 894-0062
President: Masaaki Hajime
Incorporated in 1982
Twilled pattern cashmere stole: 2010 Kagoshima New Local Products
Contest Kagoshima Prefectural Governor Award
Amami rag weaving vest: 2012 Kagoshima New Local Products Contest Kagoshima
Prefectural Governor Award
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org