I have to admit that I didn't know something this interesting was taking place in the sleepy little village nearby.
At "Some no Komichi" the whole town becomes a gallery for three days. The Myoshi River and Nakai shopping streets display dyeing works that have been passed down in this area since the Edo period.
Along with the main dyeing centers of Japan, in Kanazawa and Kyoto, Tokyo has also been favored with pure water from the Myoshoji River, essential for washing cloth.
Although the kimono business has been shrinking, the craftsmen have continued their business in this area and kept the traditional hand-dying techniques of Yuzen, Kata-zome, Edo-komon, Shibori, and others alive to today
We crossed the river many times and it was hard to resist taking just one more picture of the 'tan mono' rolls of cloth strung along the river.
These pieces will be cut and sewed into kimono.
I understand that many homes rented out space for shops and displays.
I guess you could tell how popular the exhibit was by counting the shoes in front of the step.
A few of those in my group were wishing by the end that they had worn shoes a bit easier to step in and out of.
Though shops hang out noren to let customers know they are open, ordinary homes use these too to partition rooms where they can pass easily without doors ... kitchens and hallways for example.
Here is another very decorative noren in another style.....
and someone wrestling with their shoes for perhaps the tenth time in the morning....
There were exhibits of work and demonstrations of the various techniques used to decorate cloth.
There were even places where, for a price, one could try their hand at decorating the cloth in one manner or another.
This exhibition had items for sale and lovely examples hanging on the walls.
This hanging of a lotus plant had an explanation in English,
"The Lotus symbolizes the past, present, and future.
The past is the seed,
The present is the flower,
and the future is the bud.
The dragonfly is considered a valiant creature on the side of victory."
Maybe the people in charge of the exhibit should volunteer to help with the Tokyo Dome show to make it more international-friendly.
It was nice to be able to read the additional information.
This dyed piece with a young boy riding a carp was charming and colorful in itself but the English explanation may have been informative to those who are not familiar with symbols of "Boy's Day".
Note the noren hanging just beyond the door to the garden gate.
This house also hosted an exhibit of shibori dyed cloth.
I particularly liked this indigo-dyed kimono.
The garden was large and peaceful with flowers beginning to celebrate the coming spring.
I told an elderly volunteer who was guiding people through the villa that I thought even I could become a writer, or perhaps a poet sitting in this beautiful place and looking at the wonderful garden.
He grabbed my shoulders and said, "Come here with me", and led me to a spot....
As we made out way back through town to the train station ,,,
These look to have been done by students of some school and one had children's hand prints along the strip in an assortment of bright colors along with the name of the school.
And ... along the other side of the river ...
Teruteru bozu ...
A figure that is hung in the hope that the weather the following day will be fair.
Often if the wish comes true, a face might be painted on the figure.
Yes, Saturday the weather was also fair.
I don't know if they reeled in those figures and hung new ones or not ...
But Today ... the final day of the festival began with rain that has become worse as the day progressed.
It was lucky for our group that we picked the best time for our visit and I could see all these interesting things right on my door step.