Sunday, February 5, 2017

That hair!

I've had some interest in this photo from an old post I made in 2013.  You can see the original post  here.  The  photo seems to have made it's way  around the internet to Reddit and I've been asked about the context.  I'm not surprised - I love this photo!

The photo is from an old album that my husband Takashi bought in 2012/13.  Some photos in the album are dated 1934 but  we  think this photo is earlier   -  probably 1920's. The album has photos from Kurashiki and the  Seto Inland Sea so it  might be from  Okayama - we don't know.

One of the  comments on Reddit questions the authenticity of the photo based on both its quality and the hairstyles. I can assure that person  that both the photo and the hairstyles are 100%  authentic. If you look at my original post there is photo from another album  of a fairly conservative looking young man with a similar style: 

  This  was an exciting  time of 'Taisho  Democracy' liberalism  when  relatively wealthy  mobo ('modern boys') and moga ('modern girls') set the fashion.  Here's some more 'old school cool' from the same album - most of the photos in the album  are a bit  more conservative than this:

As some  also commented on Reddit, the world would have soon changed dramatically for these young men and there's every chance they didn't survive  beyond  1945.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In store - Katagami Stencils

I've just put quite a lot  of these  ‘miyako yuzen katagami’ in the shop and on my website . They date from the mid- 20th century and were sold in sets , sometimes with a frame,   for use at home or possibly  by small home-based textile businesses.  Like all katagami  they’re made  from Japanese paper treated with persimmon tannin to prevent rotting.   The designs are relatively simple  and apparently were often cut  by young,  less-experienced craftsmen who would cut around  ten sheets at a time.  They measure 26.5cm x 45cm. They’re  in excellent, sturdy  condition and are  suitable for  use  as stencils  or for framing, covering lamps etc. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

In store... Wooden Combs

Handmade  wooden combs for creating traditional Japanese hairstyles... 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weaving Design Book

This small  (18cm x 25cm)  book of hand printed textile designs  is one of a  1903 series entitled 'textile large mirror' . This volume is 'weaving number 3' . It's a concertina style album  and at first looks like the designs have peen pasted in and hand-annotated but the designs and annotations  have actually been  printed directly on to the pages. There are  eleven double page designs (approx 19 x 28cm),  eleven  single page designs and seventeen  smaller designs.  

This album is now available for sale on my website. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I've just put this piece of boro on the website. It's a large, very old  futon cover  that's been opened out lengthwise.   The main panel is a piece of tsutsugaki.  Tsutsugaki  is created by drawing a rice-paste resist design on to the fabric with a tsutsu (a cone a bit like an icing bag).  It's then dyed in indigo and sometimes  other colours are added.   The back of the fabric has been extensively patched with  plain, striped and checked indigo - which of course is the bit that we  boro fans love! It dates from late 19th - early 20th century.  The tsutsugaki panel would originally  have been an expensive piece, not something peasant farmers or workers could have bought,  so there will have been an interesting story as to how to came to be in such a humble state.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year of the Rooster! Unfortunately we don't usually get rooster designs on fabrics that come through the shop.  This is a large embroidered woollen antique banner weight (with rabbits on the other side) which lives with me.
I've had a nice peaceful break and will reopen on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to another fabric-filled year. Thank you as always for supporting Wafu Works!

Monday, December 19, 2016

potd - Masks

I've just put these beautiful wooden masks out in the shop and in my online shop.
The first one is a  beautiful Noh theatre mask of a 'fukai' older woman character ($780).  The second is a rather glossy oni demon used in the  onikenbai 'demon sword dance' from Iwate prefecture ($350).