Kyo-Kanoko

December 16, 2015

 

Learning how to Kyo-Kanoko: A special trip to the Miyako-messe

 

by Manami Otahara & Miki Sawai

14/12/2015

 

無題

 

Today we went to Miyako-messe. Miyako-messe is a museum, you can see traditional crafts in Kyoto. When we entered in Miyako-messe, we were very surprised, because there are many people in there. In Miyako-messe, you can see demonstration by craftspeople. The demonstrations are very powerful, so we were excited. Next, we went to the souvenir corner. You can buy many kind of traditional crafts. For example, scarfs, bags, hair accessories and so on, however we were most impressed by the Kanoko.

There are 74 traditional crafts in Kyoto. Everybody knows about kimono, however not everyone knows Kanoko. What is Kanoko? There are two patterns of kimono, one is dyed, another is woven. Kanoko is dyed cloth. Kanoko is used for Kimono and Kanoko is one of the 74 crafts.  However it is different from dyed Kimono. There are many bits and wrinkles. How is it made? It is made from one piece of cloth. The cloth is made by craftspeople. Craftspeople twist one by one.

How many twists do you think it takes to make Kanoko? One hundred? One thousand? This Kimono is twisted three hundred thousand times. When people make Shibori Kimono, it takes 6 months to 1 year. Why does it take a lot of time?   Why is called it Kanoko shibori?   The reason is because Kanoko means young deer in Japanese. Japanese people believe Kanoko looks like a deer pattern, therefore people say Kanoko.

History

_mnt_sdcard_SilentCameraSoft_1449903118572

In 7c, Kanoko was introduced to Japan from India. This was written about in a book and there are some Waka poems about Kanoko Shibori from 7c as well. In 10c, Shibori was worn by princesses, princes, and rich people. In the Edo period, it was around as a brand clothes in Japan, and it was made in Kyoto, which was called Kyo-Kanoko Shibori. For a long time, craftspeople passed on the technique of how to twist from generation to generation.

In Kyoto, are there many souvenirs? If you come to Kyoto, what souvenir will you buy? Sweets? Kimono? Macha? I recommend Kanoko. Kanoko is used to make hair accessories and it is a reasonable price. Kanoko Kanzashi is a good item, because Maiko wear Kanzashi. Kanzashi is a hair accessory, and it is able to hold up your hair with only one stick. It is very cute! Another one is furoshiki, it is big cloth, so it can wrap ground something. For example, you can wrap a present in it to become a bag so it is easy to carry. If you come to Kyoto, you should buy a Kanoko item for a souvenir for your family.

Address

Miyako-messe

9-1, Okazaki Seisyoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 606-8343

Teramachi-dori (Teramachi Street)

by Shiho Tanaka and Keita Matsui

About Teramachi-dori

Teramachi-dori is one of the most famous streets in Kyoto city. This street has a variety of characteristics, and a calm ambience.  There are many good stores from south of Kyoto City Hall to north of the center of Kyoto. These stores can be both tasteful and traditional, but on the other hand, there are also a number that offer modern styling for Japanese people. University students in Kyoto often go here to shop, and we often go there, too, as we like the clothes you can buy on this street. There are always many people around on the weekend because there are lots of people from different places, so if you hate crowds you should go on a week day.

Teramachi-dori signpost

The History of Teramachi-dori

From the Heian period to the time of Sengoku, Teramachi-dori’s width was around 32meters. This wide thoroughfare was named Higashikyogoku-oji, and was considered a high-class residential area. However, it was badly damaged during the Ohnin and Bunmei revolts. Teramachi-dori was actually named by Toyotomi Hideyoshi over four hundred years ago, as he decided to locate specific temples and shrines here. In the Meiji period, smart shops were opened, one by one, including confectionery stores and the first photo studio in Kyoto. In the Heisei period, a sheltered sidewalk was created to make the Teramachi shopping arcade, and it became the Teramachi-dori we are familiar with today.

A Variety of Shops

First, we will introduce clothes shops. There are many clothes shops here, catering for the young to the old, so people of all generations can enjoy shopping. There are a number of Kyoto specialist stores in which you can buy goods with a Kyoto look and original style. There are also some interesting Japanese-style confectionery outlets, which sell every type of Japanese-style sweets. And you can also buy many uniquely Japanese things, for example, Furoshiki, Noren, Obi and so on. In addition, there are many stores selling all kinds of items from comics to rice bowls. We are sure you can get a feel for the Japanese mind and culture through them. There are also many kinds of restaurants for the food lovers to enjoy. For example, there are traditional and modern Japanese restaurants, coffee shops, Italian and Indian restaurants, and so on. You can eat just about whatever you want to here. For the tea lovers, there are green tea stores too, with Houraido and Ippodo being the best examples. They are really good tea stores, and the Ippodo Tea Warehouse is a particularly famous Japanese specialist tea emporium. So many kinds of tea, and all so delicious, it will be really hard to choose. Don’t worry though, if you can’t come to Kyoto, you can buy them on the Internet.

Ippodo Tea Emporium

Around Teramachi-dori

Parallel to Teramachi-dori to the east in the downtown section, you can visit Shinkyogoku-dori. This street is very famous too, and there are lots of restaurants, clothes shop and other stores for young people. You can keep up with all the latest and popular fashions and food by visiting here. Nishiki-dori also runs east to west across the southern part of Teramachi-dori, and is a very good place for foreign visitors because there are many special food and cultural products of Kyoto on sale here. If you go to Teramachi-dori, you should also go to these places to make sure you have seen the best of what Kyoto has to offer. Have a great time!!

Shinkyogoku covered arcade