The man who resurrected lost tsujigahana dyeing technique.
Tsujigahana is a traditional Japanese dyeing technique which involved the masterful use of tie-dyeing to create gorgeous patterns of blooming flowers. The technique reached its zenith between in the period from the 1300s to the 1600s; at the time, it was so famous that to speak of dyed fabrics meant talking about tsujigahana. However, the technique suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. Dyeing and weaving artisan Itchiku Kubota was the man who resurrected the beauty of tsujigahana in the present day. The beauty of this technique and the achievement of rediscovering its secret were lauded around the world; in 1990, Kubota was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a French Order of Merit given in recognition of significant contributions to art and culture.
The stunning New Wing brings to mind the architecture of Gaudi.
Visitors to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum can a vast collection of the artist’s works. The chalk building covered in Ryukyu limestone beyond the main gate – said to have once been used in an ancient fort in India – is the New Wing. Its fantastical appearance is reminiscent of the works of world famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. Among the items on display, the New Wing contains collection of glass beads, which he gathered religiously, and also contains the museum shop.
Spatial design awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide.
As one leaves the New Wing, a pyramidal building, created in the image of Mt. Fuji, comes into view. This is the Main Building and exhibition room, which is supported by 16 pillars of hiba wood. Inside, tsujigahana-dyed kimono hung from the ceiling seem to hover in the sedate lighting of the space. None are tucked away behind glass – all are available for visitors to view up close and unobstructed; one can almost hear the breathing of their maker. A quick break in the Itchiku-an tearoom in the back is also recommended. Enjoy a cup of matcha green tea and handmade zenzai sweet red bean soup while gazing at the museum’s garden, created by Kyoto landscape architect Yasuo Kitayama. Itchiku Kubota long preached the trinity of people, art, and nature. Enjoy the seasonal beauty of the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum together with his art.
- 2255 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi-ken
- Opening hours
- 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (last admission 5:00 P.M.); December to March 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (last admission 4:00 P.M.)
- Admission 1,300 yen
- JR Shinjuku Station is 30 minutes by shuttle bus from Haneda Airport. Kawaguchiko Station is about 105 minutes by highway bus from JR Shinjuku Station. Itchiku Kubota Art Museum is about 10 minutes by taxi from JR Kawaguchiko Station.