“Four from Ishikawa” Exhibited at J-COLLABO Fall Festival
By Mina Hiraiwa
“Four from Ishikawa”, a group of craftspeople from Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, exhibited their artifacts at J-COLLABO Fall Festival held at J-LABO Brooklyn on September 7, 2014. The group consists of members from Asahi Electronic Co,. Ltd., HIRO Co,. Ltd., Amaike Textile Industry Co,. Ltd., and Koubou Hisatsune. Their mission is to promote traditional artifacts of Ishikawa Prefecture to the world. They are funded by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and are also going to exhibit their crafts at JAVITS Center in February 2015.
Asahi Electronic Co., Ltd.
Asahi Electronic combines traditional artifacts, such as Kutaki ware (a style of Japanese porcelain) and Maki-e (a decoration technique of Japanese lacquer with gold or silver powder) with IT, offering iPhone covers, USB memory, mouse, and other PC accessories.
Each iPhone cover is hand-made by a craftsperson, adding layers of lacquer, gold, or sandalwood to the strong body of polycarbonate. Their designer used 3D technology to create Japanese patterns and the feng shui designs for the Takamori Maki-e (piling lacquers) iPhone cover. In 2013, Asahi Electronic’s iPhone cover received the third prize and the United States prize under the COOL Japan section of a souvenir contest held by the Japan Tourism Agency.
HIRO Co., Ltd.
HIRO features “Deco-T”, T-shirts with Japanese pattern-work using Futakoshi kimono material. The T-shirt combines two different materials, sewn with their original technique. It received the first prize of Kanawaza brand award by Kanazawa Prefecture in 2011. In addition, HIRO uses various materials such as silk, Japanese paper (washi), and gold foil to provide comfort clothes. HIRO also exhibited pincushions using kimono materials and other sewing sets.
Amaike Textile Industry Co., Ltd.
Amaike Textile Industry produced the lightest and thinnest fabric in the world called “Amaike Super Organza” in 2005. It was used first at the Paris Collection in 2006, and then exported to major international brands. The fabric features a 27-micron polyester organza thread, which is about one sixth of the hair thickness. Kaga Yuzen Scarf uses this latest technology of ultra-lightweight and very thin cloth. Kaga Yuzen is known for its unique use of colors and kimono patterns. The scarf is so light that five customers so far came back to buy it again since they did not realize that they lost it when they went out. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry selected the company as one of the 100 global niche companies in 2014.
Kobo Hisatsune is specialized in Kaga Yuzen dyeing. The technique, dating back 500 years ago, features the beauty and elegance of the Japanese spirit. The dyeing technique is based on five basic colors: crimson, indigo, ocher, dark green, and royal purple, and it is used to design nature scenes such as birds, flowers, and landscapes. It also features realistic motifs such as tree leaves bitten by insects. Kaga Yuzen never employs the gold-leaf application technique, tie-dyeing, and embroidery, all of which are used in Kyo Yuzen. Kobo Hisatsune strives to incorporate the Kaga Yuzen dyeing technique into everyday life by making dishes and luncheon mats with this technique so that everybody can appreciate its beauty.