As we wandered through Japan, we found ourselves in Arimatsu, a small town on the edge of Nagoya which is famous for being the birthplace of Shibori. This was not a planned situation; we simply woke up that day in Nagoya and flipped through our book to see what there was to do. I was delighted beyond words to discover Arimatsu nearby, given that dyeing fabric in all it’s forms is something near and dear to my heart! As we walked the streets there, I could only imagine we were stepping back in time. The architecture was different than other places we had been. The buildings looked weathered yet still very much sturdy and strong.
We visited the Arimatsu Tie-dyeing Museum. There on the second floor, were many beautiful examples of all the different varieties of Shibori one could imagine. The kimonos were breathtaking. Two women there were actively demonstrating shibori techniques. In my limited Japanese, and with the help from Google Translate, I was able to learn that one of them had been working like this for 60 years! I asked about aching fingers or sore knees, but neither was bothered by anything of the type. Instead they simply sat and wrapped small gathers of fabric with thread, with contented smiles on their faces. I was humbled to be in such a place.