AND SOMETHING RED . . . 赤いもの...

Not all Japan is Blue & White as I may often imply.
 A recent trip to Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures, conclusively proved it also comes in a soul-singeing spectrum of red.
私が常々言っている青と白が日本の全ての色ではありません。 先日訪れた京都と滋賀の旅は、思い返せば心躍る赤色に溢れかえっていました。

red1Scroll of Daruma overlooking partakers of Shojin Ryori, vegetarian food, at Tenryuj Temple in Kyoto.

red2Bib on archaic carved wooden saint a Chomei ji Temple in Ohmi Hachiman at the top of 808 ancient steep stone steps.


Kei Kawasaki staged an unbelievably stunning exhibit of Only Red – Benibana dyeing at her Gallery Kei in Teramachi, Kyoto, on May 17 – 21 last month.
川崎啓氏のギャラリー、ギャラリー啓 にて5月17日−21日まで開催されていた展示会は、全ての作品が紅花染めの赤色で埋め尽くされた、素晴らしく魅力的な展示会でした。

red3Sometimes dancing. Benibana/safflower boy’s kimono, hemp.

red4Sometimes translucent. Safflower hemp kimono for a girl.
時に光が透き通り(紅花染めの女の子の着物(麻)) 。

red5Sometimes with a shibori design of plums.

red6Sometimes in rolls with other shades of red.
様々な赤色の巻物 。

red7Sometimes quietly resplendent on its own.




red12Safflowers, the source of all that red in the preceding kimonos at a memorable exhibit of Benibana textiles at Gallery Kei, from 17 – 21 May, in Kyoto. The collection was doubly astonishing because Gallery Kei usually concentrates on indigo country textiles, bast fibers and an irresistible, not to mention incomparable expression of wabi wabi Japan.
その展示会において、全ての着物を赤に染めた原料である紅花です。 普段ギャラリー啓では藍染めの織物、強靭で抵抗性が強い魅力的な靭皮、日本の侘寂に象徴されるようなコレクションが並んでいます。ですので今回彼らが開催した、真っ赤な展示会には幾度となく驚かされました。


red13Shades of red at the main hall of Chomei-ji Temple.

red14Persimmon tannin dyed goods in many shades, many shapes, modeled by the maker, and salesman.

red15Bell tower at Chomeiji Temple in Ohmi Hachiman.

red16Intriguing pot by Kawai Kanjiro at his beautifully preserved house in Kyoto.

red17Torii donated by believers at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.



red19Red into forever.

red20An eternity of red.

There will be a special program on INDIGO/AI, on NHK Bi no Tsubo in Japan on May 30 at 7:30 pm, and on June 3 at 11:05 am.

It will also be broadcast on NHK US on June 2 at 2:05 pm, Tokyo Time.

Blue & White and Amy Katoh’s house in Karuizawa will be included.


がいこくへのほうそうは、6/2 14:05 (にほんじかん)です。よろしくおねがいします。


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3 Responses to AND SOMETHING RED . . . 赤いもの...

  1. Barbara says:

    Amy- Is there any way to put a video or tape of the TV shows on this blog… would love to see it.

  2. Amy, This is wonderful! Beni is a favorite color of mine–that incomparable red in all its subtle variations. I hope you tackle murasaki and other natural colors of Japan soon, too! Thank you for always sharing the best of Japan!

  3. I prepare and wait each year for the strength of the summer sun to dye with kakishibu – together with indigo it is my favorite colour combination. I put a link on my blog. thank you for a wonderful post.

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