[Feature] Nanokamachi Gotenzeki! Yonezawa-ori Fushikian
I moved to Yamagata with my family on the occasion of the U-turn of my husband (coming back to work to Yamagata where he is from). I was fascinated by the people, nature and food in Yamagata, and now I am totally captivated. I will do my best to let many people outside the prefecture know the charms of Yamagata! Also, I am also running a personal blog named Yamagata Kurashi (https://fullpokko.com/) with the theme o Enrich your life in Yamagata. I will continue to share information on Yamagata from various angles in the future.
The fifth article of the feature on the historic site of Gotenzeki in Nanokamachi and Yamagata City!
So, this time, I would like to introduce the Yonezawa-ori Fushikian shop.
We also asked staff Sato-san about recommended and popular products (^-^)
Gotenzeki is one of the five former weir (irrigation canals) areas in Yamagata City.
It was used to carry agricultural and domestic-use water for over 400 years, and part of Gotenzeki also flowed to the moat of the Yamagata Castle.
The area was redeveloped in 2010 utilizing the old-fashioned masonry canal and was renamed Nanokamachi Gotenzeki, now a place of relaxation for citizens and tourists.
On the second floor of the Gotenzeki complex is located a Yonezawa-ori’s antenna shop called Yonezawa-ori Shikian.
It is said that the name comes from Uesugi’s Kenshin decree, “Ikushi-an.”
Yonezawa-ori is a textile making technique that started about 250 years ago as one of the industrial development policy of the ninth Yonezawa castle lord Uesugi Yozan.
Yonezawa is the northernmost textile production area in Japan, where kimono, clothes, shawls, and carpets are made.
Yonezawa-ori is known for the the pattern that is woven after dyeing the thread.
“Okitama Tsumugi”, which is designated as a traditional handicraft, is woven with plant dyeing and kasuri techniques using safflower, the flower of the prefecture of Yamagata.
2. Exterior of the shop
Fushikian’s shop is on the second floor of the Gotenzeki complex.
There is a staircase leading to the second floor at the entrance of Gotenzeki so please use it.
Fushikian is the second shop from the top of the stairs.
I visited July so a yukata with a refreshing design welcomed me.
The morning glory pattern was just like summer (^^)
3. Inside the shop
Inside it looks like this.
In addition to kimonos, there were items for everyday use such as purses and pouches.
In addition to Japanese products, they also have clothes and tote bags, so I think people of all ages can enjoy this shop.
At the back of the shop you will also find the Yonezawa-ori kimono.
I was fascinated for a while by the gentle color (^-^)
And the cloths lined up underneath were vivid and I couldn’t take my eyes off (>_<)
Rich colors created from “Kusaboku-dye” using natural dyes.
Power in the tenderness.
I felt such a mysterious charm.
If you can’t afford a whole piece of cloth, we recommend you the smaller ones.
As I will introduce later, it is said that this is also a popular item of the shop (^-^)
4. Two recommended products
From here, I would like to introduce recommended products of Fushikian!
It is a lineup that we want tourists as well as people in the prefecture to use (^-^)
① Uetsu Shinafu
Uetsushinafu is a woven yarn made from the bark of Chinese cypress found at the prefectural border between Yamagata (formerly Uzen) and Niigata (formerly Echigo).
The hand-woven cloth is designated as a traditional cultural product and designated a valuable cultural heritage.
This material has been used since the Jomon period and is one of the ancient Japanese cloths.
There are products such as bags, eyeglass cases, and obi belts, and it seems that small items such as broaches are popular.
The cool material makes it perfect for the coming hot season.
By the way, it is the warm cloth that is at the entrance of the shop (^-^)
② Kuwacha Mulberry tea
Why is there mulberry tea at Fushikian? You may wonder, but the food for the silkworms, which are used to make the cloth, is mulberry leaves.
This is a powdered tea made by a silk farmer in Shirataka Town, who separated the mulberry leaves into powder and then melt them in hot water.
Mulberry tea is said to contain ingredients that suppress the absorption of sugar, and is recommended for maintaining good health.
Because it is caffeine and pesticide free, pregnant women and children can drink it with peace of mind.
It can also be used for cooking, and some people come to this shop only for this product (^-^)
5. Two popular products from Fushikian
① Yoneori Komon
Yonezawa Komon is a new brand that takes advantage of the characteristics of Yonezawa-Ori’s “fine count, dyed, and weave” to express the ancient Japanese Komon pattern.
The yarn is dyed in fine count and features a high-density crest weave.
A combination of ancient Japanese patterns and traditional colors are available to create a Japanese accent that harmonizes with the modern lifestyle.
The material is firmer than sarashi bleached cloth and softer than canvas, making it a product that is easy to incorporate into everyday life (^-^)
The strips introduced earlier are also popular products of Fushikian.
They are affordable and it seems that people use them to make small items or for patchwork, etc. (^-^)
6. Try yourself at Yonezawa-Ori? Activity corner
There was such a hands-on corner in Fushikian!
The name is “Teori-chan.”
It’s considerably smaller than a real handloom, but you can actually weave cloth.
It is recommended for small children as they can experience how the fabric is made.
Of course, I think adults can enjoy it too.
It seems that you can purchase this Teori-chan (^-^)
Finally, we received a message from the staff
“People have heard about it, but Yonezawa-ori is not surprisingly known.
Please come to touch it and wear it too.”