Tsujigahana and Kakishibu kimono
Tsujigahana is a Japanese fabric dyeing technique that originated in the Muromachi-era.
It's not necessarily appropriate to define what “TSUJIGAHANA” is because there is little remaining data and existing kosode (short-sleeved kimono), but tsuji-ga-hana may be defined as “what is used in tie-dyeing with drawing pictures, impressing foil, and embroidering”.
Tie-dyeing, which forms the basis of tsujigahana, has been a traditional way of dyeing from Nara Period in Japan. There are various ways from those of basic and easy steps such as tying and bundling to those of difficult such as sawing outline of design and tying, and dyeing in different colors. The latter one is called “koukechi”, which is the way that prevents dye stuff from penetrating a textile.
In concrete terms, advanced techniques, such as complicated sawing, tying and tightening, and take-kawa-shibori (tying with a bamboo leaf), are used. In the case of making dappled cloth, which has tiny patterns, we only need to tie textiles with a thread, but when to make big design, the techniques of maki-age-shibori (coiling up tying) and take-kawa-shibori are used. When we dye textiles in different colors, the technique of oke-shibori (tying with tub) is used.
Maki-age-shibori is the way that protect against dyeing by coiling up a part. Take-kawa-shibori is the way that protect against dyeing by covering a part with a bamboo leaf. Bamboo leaves are now replaced by easy-to-use plastic. Oke-shibori is the way that protect against dyeing by putting a part in a tub.
The name “tsuji-ga-hana” first emerged in literature in the late 15th century. The tory goes that, in 1596, Toyotomi Hideyoshi presented tsujigahana to an emissary from Ming as his/her farewell present. Tsuji-ga-hana, which range from simple tie-dyeing to impressing foil and embroidered gorgeous ones, became fashionable in public after a century from its birth. Simultaneously, the name “tsujigahana” seemed to have become popular as we associate kimono with “Yuzen”.
As we see in kosode of katsurame (woman merchant), battle surcoat, remaining kimono in Tokugawa, and so on, the height was about from the Momoyama period to the Edo period. By improvement of Yuzen dyeing, tsuji-ga-hana lost its significance of existence and died out in course of time.
In recent years, though, “tsujigahana” has become public knowledge by receiving media exposure. It seems that tsuji-ga-hana is merely one of the designs; however, “tsujigahana” is consistently “tie-dyeing”.
Tsujigahana is the technique which maximizes essential beauty of tie-dyeing by drawing pictures and impressing foil.