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Latest update： 18/11/2019 16:00:03
YAMAZAKI NOTOJOFU WORKSHOP,INC.
Notojofu is a traditional hemp fabric, which was inherited in the Nakanoto area since the Japanese mythological age, and is one of the best Japanese high-quality plain-woven hemp cloth in terms of quality and quantity.
Notojofu is sometimes described as "cicada wings" and can be a thin and light kimono material for mid-summer. It has the characteristic of the hemp texture, a cool feel, and of being strong. Furthermore, the simple colors that match the climate of the Noto area and the traditional splashed patterns have a timeless elegance and beauty to it that people do not tire. Ishikawa Prefecture has designated the craft technique mainly represented by a process of elaborate double ikat created by a resisted yarn dyeing technique called combed printing or roll printing unique to the Noto area, as an intangible cultural heritage.
- What is Notojofu?
History of Notojofu
Since the Japanese mythological age The following is said to be the origin of Notojofu: The Emperor Sujin's princess, who had had a deep connection with hemp, created thread from wild hemp and taught weaving to local women while she stayed in the Noto area. Furthermore, according to a record, she presented hemp thread to Todai Temple. As can be understood from these examples, the technique for dealing with hemp has been inherited by our ancestors since the olden times. From hemp thread to Jofu Although the Noto area has a long history with hemp, the name "Notojofu" did not exist until modern times. Until the beginning of the Edo Period, high-quality hemp thread made in this area was used as yarn for Omi Jofu. After that, a trend toward uniquely weaving quality fabric grew, craftspersons were invited from the Omi area (Shiga Pref.), and people in Noto learned dyeing and weaving from the craftspersons. These greatly improved weaving techniques. After that, in the first year of the Bunsei era, "Noto-Chijimi" bearing the name of Noto was woven for the first time. After that, continuous efforts were made to improve weaving techniques, and in the 40th year of the Meiji era, Noto-Chijimi was selected as a tribute to the Crown Prince. After around that time, the high quality of hemp fabric was recognized all over Japan, and the name "Notojofu" became popular. "Jofu" is the name given to the highest quality hemp fabric. Notojofu can be described as the product of beauty that has been nurtured by our ancestors' efforts in the long history of the Noto hemp fabric. Inheritance of the history to the next generation As described above, Noto gradually became recognized as the production area of high-quality hemp fabric. In early years of the Showa era, the number of fabric manufacturers in the area was 140. The production volume increased to 400,000 rolls per year, which made Noto the largest production area of hemp fabric. In 1960 (the 35th year of the Showa era), Notojofu was designated as an intangible cultural heritage of Ishikawa prefecture. However, due to changes in lifestyles, the popularity of kimono declined, and the number of fabric manufacturers gradually decreased. In 1988 (the 63rd year of the Showa era), the number decreased to 1. Now, in the Yamazaki Hemp Fabric Studio, the only one fabric manufacturer that maintains the last flame of Notojofu, young persons in and outside the prefecture who willingly entered the world of Notojofu inherit the traditional techniques. We feel the strong will of the young people to pass down Notojofu to the next generation.
Notojofu are made through many complicated processes from yarn filature to a handwoven finish. Notojofu, woven with the technique inherited through a long period of time by skillful craftspersons is an unsurpassed artwork of hemp.
Brand story of RAMIE EPOCH
RAMIE EPOCH is a fashion and sundry article brand established in 2012 by our company, the only one fabric manufacturer of "Notojofu," a traditional kimono for summer. The name RAMIE EPOCH is a combination of RAMIE, which is the English name of the raw material of Notojofu, and EPOCH which means a new era. EPOCH is derived from "Belle Époque (good days)" which indicates bright days in Paris, France, and which was the same period as the era of "Art nouveau (new art)," an art style that was popular from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. We would like to make Notojofu more popular by producing products that match the modern life style, thinking primarily of the Belle Époque era when art was popular. Products of RAMIE EPOCH RAMIE EPOCH products have the texture of the raw material, hemp (RAMIE), which gives us a feeling of coolness, transparency, crispness, luster, and tension. Such feelings are derived from ikat and stripes that are characteristics of Notojofu. In addition to giving us the above feelings, Notojofu has a design based on vivid colors that are not used in conventional kimono. The material of RAMIE EPOCH products, in particular, is strong Notojofu, and the hemp (RAMIE) material is washable at home. Therefore, the products are easy to handle and can be used on a daily basis. We produce products besides kimonos, such as stoles, shirts, and various covers.