Fureaikan’s Experience Corner

December 17, 2009

by Miho Hattori

In an earlier article I introduced the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, also known as Fureaikan or Miyako Messe. At Fureaikan, various types of traditional handicrafts are displayed and you can watch the stages of processing these crafts. In Fureaikan’s ‘Experience Corner’, you can also experience easily creating an original work of your own with the technique of yuzen stencil-dyeing.

In the second half of the 17th century, Yuzensai Miyazaki developed kyo yuzen silk with innovative hand painting and dyeing techniques for use in Japanese kimonos. As a result, this dye technique was named “yuzen” after him. Nowadays kyo yuzen has two basic methods: tegaki hand dyeing, which uses some brushes, and kata stencil-dyeing, a technique to dye silk using a cutout paper template. Stencil-dyeing was developed by Jisuke Hirose of Kyoto during the early Meiji period (1870s).

Using paper templates of some seasonal Kyoto patterns or characters, you will apply color to the cloth and iron it to permanently fix the color. That is all! It takes about 45~60 minutes to finish this. Instructors will help you carefully and they have an explanatory pamphlet in English. You can make a nice souvenir with your favorite colors and designs. This experience will surely become your great memory of Kyoto!

Let’s try! ?

ΠChoose one item or more from the 5 items: coaster (one set of two) Japanese round fan (large or small), place mat, t-shirt and handkerchief. I chose to make a placemat.

 There are a lot of paper templates, for example seasonal Kyoto traditional patterns, cherry blossom, plum blossom, Gion Festival, Mt. Daimonji, goldfish, gods of four directions, and hanakuidori (birds eating flowers). Choose a pattern or characters which you like. In this case, I chose a pattern of a berry.


And then instructors demonstrate how to apply coloring to the cloth before starting.

 You can use 5 colors (red, blue, green yellow, and purple) and one brush.


Start to paint on the color little by little and gradate the color using several hues.

Along the way, you should check it frequently…

And finish!

Don’t you think it sounds simple? It is easy even for a beginner to make their own original yuzen dyeing craftwork!

Information for ‘Experience Corner’—


Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays

9:00 to 17:00 (please apply by 16:00 at the shop counter)


Experience in Fureaikan

Admission is free.

Fees are for crafts made:

· Coaster (2 pieces)…600 yen

· Handkerchief…700 yen

· Round paper fan (short handle)…800 yen

· Round paper fan (long handle)…900 yen

· Place mat…1,000 yen

· T-shirt…1,500 yen

*Including the cost of materials



9-1, Seishoji-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto (Miyakomesse B1F)




9:00~17:00 (Admission until 16:30)


[email protected]


Mondays & 12/29~1/3 & three maintenance days in mid-August

« No smoking, no eating and drinking and no camera!

« Admission free!


«From JR Kyoto Station

Bus: Take city bus No.5 to “Kyoto Kaikan mae/Bijutsu-kan mae” bus stop, or bus No. 206 to the Higashiyama-Nijo bus stop.

Subway: Take the Karasuma Line to Karasuma-Oike station and there, change subway lines to the Tozai Line heading east; get off at Higashiyama Station.

«From Shijo-Kawaramachi

Bus: City bus Nos. 5, 32 or 46 to Kyoto Kaikan mae/bijutsu-kan mae bus stop or bus No. 31, 201 or 203 to Higashiyama-Nijo bus stop

«From Sanjo Keihan

Bus: Take city bus No.5 to Kyoto kaikan mae/bijutsukan mae bus stop

Subway: Take the Tozai Line to Higashiyama Station

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