Sunday, February 3, 2019

Shades of Indigo Blues

My morning was spent at the Amuse Museum viewing the BORO exhibitions.

Boro are a class of Japanese textiles that have been mended or patched together. The term is derived from Japanese boroboro meaning something tattered or repaired. As hemp was more widely available in Japan that cotton, they were often woven together for warmth.
Traditional Japanese boro cloths have a beauty like no other. Each cloth tells a unique story of it's journey through life with patches carefully sewed on and reinforced with stitching, often over generations of a single family.

From the late Meiji to the Taisho period, various kinds of fabrics including the secind hand cotton clothes once worn by the people in Kanto and Kansal regions, became more accessible. However on;y property owners had a control over even small fabric scraps. Possession of those scraps proved one's social status and wealth 

 Used as a night blanket or as a warm shawl around the hearth when cold. Made from multiple layers of worn-put clothes added on over and over.

 Bodoko, a blanket sheet made with layers of shabby cotton cloths, were mainly used by women as cushions to lie on.
During the Edo era there were also laws that restricted lower classes from wearing bright colours which is why the cloths are indigo blue and brown. Boro textiles are now highly sought after collectibles.
 People living in a cold frigid area suffered from harvest failure every few years. No matter how hard they suffered from lack of food, clothing meant great importance to them for cold protection and as the place where women could express their desires for beauty. They had a passion for beautiful embroideries. 

After the museum, I caught the Asakusa line to Daimon station, changed to the Oedo line to Azabp-juban station and a short 5 minute walk to the shop Blue and White. 
Thank you Jeanette for your direction instructions.
 The subways are quite easy to follow once you get your bearings and exits.
 Blue and White is an original and quirky shop presenting the best of blue and white handmade crafts. Indigo and sashiko, yukata and tenugui are carefully chosen to highlight the beauty of the blue and white tradition of Japan.
 The tiny shop was lovely and the lady whose was working, welcomed me warmly. The owner was not there, I would loved to have met her as I follow her blog.
I bought a handmade book and a pad of sheets for bookmaking.

My paper bag of goodies. I noticed the different types of paper carry bags out on my wanderings. 
Some of them were exquisite. 


  1. The Boro exhibition is quite amazing.

    Learning how to use the subways sounds like an adventure. Will your Blue & White paper bag appear in your stitch meditations?

  2. Nice to see the exhibition at Amuse museum again, and inside Blue & White.

  3. I remember seeing a small collection of these patched clothes in Melbourne. These utilitarian objects have many years of stories to tell and are quite beautiful.
    So pleased you found the Blue and White shop, happy to help.

  4. Love, love love your blogs about Japan! Thank you! I, too, went to the Amuse museum!

  5. I'm glad you got to enjoy all that boro. I often am reminded of it in your stitch meditations. Amy Kato's shop is an icon of the Juban area and when she was moved out of her old shop I was glad it was not far off. Her shopkeeper is always lovely and friendly and I stop often there on my way home from school, which is at the top of that hill.

  6. What an interesting exhibit you found! I thought the subway system in Tokyo very easy to use also!