Aizome Indigo Dyeing - Workshop Visit & Conversation with Higeta Tadashi

日下田 正 藍染工房訪問

Watch a recording of this event in the player above.

Pay a virtual visit to the dyeing workshop of Higeta Aizome in Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture, as part of the programme of events in conjunction with Japan House London’s previous exhibition Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan. This workshop appears as an example of how windows are incorporated in manufacture in the Windows on Craft section of the exhibition.

Higeta Aizome Indigo Dyeing Studio is said to have originated in Mashiko early in the Kansei era (1789–1801 CE) of the Edo period. Today, the vat storage room of this workshop has 72 indigo fermentation vats filled with leaves of Japanese indigo (Persicaria tinctoria), the plant used to produce indigo dye in many different shades.

In this event from Japan following the introduction to the history of indigo dyeing (aizome) in Mashiko and Japan by Higeta Tadashi, master craftsman of aizome and ninth-generation head of the workshop, guests can enjoy a special workshop tour and a demonstration of spinning and weaving.

About the Speaker 

Higeta Tadashi

Born in 1939, Higeta Tadashi trained under textile artist Yoshitaka Yanagi from 1959 to 1963, and succeeded his father, Higeta Hiroshi (1909-2003). While his father Hiroshi produced masterly stencil-dyed works, Higeta Tadashi, his successor and ninth-generation head, has added weaving techniques to the indigo dyeing techniques handed down from the Edo period and focuses his energies on both weaving and dyeing. He is involved in every process from growing cotton to spinning yarn, dyeing with indigo, and weaving. He revived the brown-coloured Mashiko cotton and still cultivates it to be used in many of his works. Following his father, Higeta Tadashi received the Person of Cultural Merit recognition in 2018. He has also been featured in two exhibitions in Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art: Higeta Tadashi and Ethel Mairet (2016) and Higeta Tadashi: Achieving New Heights Beyond His Father (2021-22).

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