Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品

Edo Shishu

Edo Shishu Photo

A dazzling number of stitches create this fineness and brilliance.
Japanese embroidery has a 1,400-year history. Following the introduction of Buddhism to Japan, embroidery started through emulating that in the Buddhist images, and embroidered Kimono became popular with the merchant class from the 17th century. Then, Edo Shisyu became one of the typical Japanese embroidery traditions, along with the Kyoto and Kaga styles. Production starts with taking an order from a client. Next, designs and colors are determined. There are almost 20 variants of red thread, alone, so it requires a craftsman who is well versed in Japanese traditional colors to apply his/ her color sense. Some of the many stitching methods are Japan-specific techniques, including Komanui (stitching using a koma, or special reel) to wind the threads onto a reel and stitching with a Toji-ito (binding thread). Craftsmen challenge new creations applying traditional techniques to express his/her individuality as an artist in detail. Created out of stitches that can number up to tens of thousands, the miniature-like works emit silk-specific lights, a special quality that would never be seen in products made of cotton. Silk threads change their brightness as you view from various angles and Edo Shisyu items are highly valued as works for aesthetic appreciation that are different from paintings and pictures.
Tokyo Embroidery Cooperative Association
Address: 6-11-102, Iko 4-chome, Adachi-ku, Tokyo