Rags and Tatters from the Far North (especially Aomori) of Japan
Among Mr. Tanakafs collection, there are a lot of clothing called "BORO" which had been used from generations to generations in a household; some of them were even made back in the Edo-era. "BORO" is now becoming an international phrase, originated from Japanese snowy north area, meaning of the patched clothes that people back then used for many generations in a household by adding stitches and/or pieces of cloth on it over and over. The word gBOROh has now an artistic sense to it, highly rated among the field of the textile art design, and requested for purchase by various artists and collectors.
BORO is patched clothing with a lot of small cloths here and there, but nothing fancy like todayfs quilted or patched works. It was made purely for the practical purposes for retaining warmth in the snowy areas and for making it last as long as possible where it was hard to obtain any sorts of cloth. When we review its practicality and design from todayfs point of view, we are able to realize its incredible sophistication.
Born in Aomori prefecture in 1933. An ethnologist and author.
A private collector of more than 30,000 pieces of rare articles including the national important tangible cultural properties, folk arts, antiques, and clothes.
The artistically high quality of his collection received high praises from the public figures such as Terayama Shuji and Kurosawa Akira, who used some of the pieces from Mr. Tanakafs collection in their films and books.