Japan Indigo Dye Workshop-The Experience continues

Each morning Bryan continued with his lessons in various aspects of culture and art, often getting out pieces of his collections of dyed fabrics, some of which are antiques.




As part of understanding the nature of indigo, Bryan had us plant this year’s indigo crop.



Seeds are planted in the trays and when they sprout are planted into the ground.

When harvested, the leaves are stripped and the seeds are saved. The leaves go through a drying and fermenting process and the resulting balls wind up smelling really bad.


As we mentioned before, we never went hungry and Hiro kept the fresh meals coming. The selection of fresh vegetables was wonderful and so very tasty.

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Dinner was often accompanied by a little sake. Here Hiro is showing Bryan the bottle he brought home. He must have thought we looked like a thirsty group.


We did have to do more than eat and drink and the next pictures are the result of the classes Bryan taught us. These are the results of various ways of stitching the cloth before dyeing it.



These are the result of stencil dying. We will do an entire blog post on stenciling.


Bryan always kept the vats prepared and ready for us. There were ten of us with a lot of projects to dye so the vats had to be checked daily.


Momo is resting after a hard morning. She and Geiger are rescues from the area near the Fukushima nuclear plant after the tsunami struck the coast.

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Our evening walks were so relaxing and we were able to enjoy scenery totally unlike that of home.

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It was April and the flowers were just coming out and the air smelled so fresh. The low hills and foggy days were so peaceful and the walks made the trip that much more special and memorable

Bryan’s ghost stories made the walks even more fun. This scene of very old grave sites prompted a couple of good ones.

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Bryan and Hiro’s house was furnished in typical Japanese fashion. The fabric cranes represent longevity and good luck.

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We continue the experience in the next blog with the trip to a national treasure stencil dyer,

Debbie and David

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