I’m excited to announce that I’ve been working with a writer on some articles about Japan that are published in some online Tokyo magazines. I had the privilege of accompanying the fabulous Joan Bailey to do photography when she went to Tochigi to learn about yukitsumugi silk. I have a very keen interest in traditional crafts and artisans in Japan so I was very excited to be working on this.
Yukitsumigi is a designated intangible cultural treasure in Japan. The complete production of the silk is by hand. It’s extremely labor intensive. Two things that make yukitsumugi unique (other than completely un-automated production) is that the fabric lacks the regular shine of silk since the strands are not twisted; and the pattern is not dyed or painted onto the fabric after weaving. Instead, the threads are dyed before hand, looped and knotted according to complex calculations then dyed. The pattern of the dyed threads emerges as the fabric is woven.
This was my first time to work with Joan and Gaijin Pot and Savvy Tokyo. Our guides were great and the artisans incredibly friendly and generous with their time. I hope to do more stories like these in the future.
You can read Joan’s article at Gaijin Pot here. Joan goes into much more detail about the silk. The photos are by yours truly. Here’s the link for the article for Savvy Tokyo piece.
This was a great collaboration project with Louise Rouse and Michelle Zacharias. We worked on direct mail images for Louise’s print show, Solo at 30.
Louise Rouse is a British illustrator and designer.
Louise did the concept and styling of the shoot and Michelle was an amazing assistant director. The idea was yukata in Yoyogi Koen with (hopefully) a few of the rockabilly guys and gals that perform near the entrance, or beating the heat with a nice kakigori (shaved ice with sweet syrup). We got a couple of shots with a great rockabilly couple.
It was a super hot summer day but it was worth the effort. Lots of compliments on the amazing Hiroko Takahashi yukata Louise bought and many people admired the hair by Hikaru Terada.
More of Louise’s work can be seen at her Behance page.
Styling: Louise Rouse
Assistant Director: Michelle Zacharias
Photography: Lori Ono
Hair: Hikaru Terada at Warren Tricomi
Yukata by Hiroko Takahashi