Posted on 23 April 2011
It's been a while since I came to Kyoto so I decided to make this trip to retrace the origins of MISCHA, get inspired and gather material for a future exhibition. In the daily running of business, I realised that I'd lost touch with the reason I started it in the first place; my fascination with traditional Japanese textiles and design. On my first trip here years ago, sakura were in full bloom and it was sunny every day. Every turn around every corner revealed another quiet street of perfectly preserved architecture, an ancient shrine, traditional eatery and elegant kimono clad ladies of all ages going about their day.
Take another turn and you would glimpse a small group of Geisha, characterised by their immaculate white made up and colourful garments, hurrying to their early evening engagement in Pontochō. It was like going back in time and thus began my love affair with Japan.
So I'm here to experience Kyoto once again, this time with my friend and Kyoto native, Mariko, who grew up a stone's throw away from Nijo castle. Our first stop was to the Nishijin Textile Industrial Association, documenting the history of Kyoto Nishijin weaving techniques used in creating the elaborate designs required in kimono fabrics.