- Although dyeing techniques had existed since the 8th century, it is said that the yuzen technique of painting dye directly onto cloth was established by Miyazaki Yuzensai, a popular fan painter living in Kyoto toward the end of the 17th century. He introduced his own style of painting as a way of rendering pattern and this led to the birth of this handpainted dyeing technique.
A multicolored yuzen was used to apply painterly designs to kimono cloths and grew in stature from the middle of the 18th century as merchant culture flourished. In the Meiji period (1868-1912), utsushi yuzen was developed using stencils to create these distinctive designs.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Kyo Yuzen, with its rich variety of motifs drawn from nature has become synonymous with the Japanese kimono. And, despite an extensive use of color, there is still within the noble tenor of the designs a special aesthetic quality that has been nurtured over the thousand years of the history of Kyoto.