Kimono

Japanese Empress grows silkworms

The Imperial family’s tradition of growing silkworms as a symbolic custom dates back the 8th century. The custom had lapsed for a while. In 1871, then Empress Shoken restarted the long forgotten custom. This practice was passed on to Empress Teimei in Taisho Period, Empress Kojun in Showa Period, then now to Empress Michiko in Heisei Period. In the vast property …

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The life of a silkworm

The egg of a silkworm is tiny, about 1.3mm. As soon as they come out of the egg, they start eating mulberry leaves. When they stop eating, they are ready to molt. They molt four times in the course of about a month. When they stop eating after having molted four times, that’s the sign …

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Protection policy didn’t protect Japan’s sericulture

The decline of Japanese sericulture has accelerated in the last 20 years. In 1995 there were 13,640 sericulture farmer households. The number was down to 393 in 2014. From 1974 to 1994 the Japanese government protected its sericulture farmers with a law that kept domestic raw silk prices artificially high by requiring all silk imports …

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Japan’s raw silk now… On the verge of extinction

By the 1930’s Japan was the world’s largest producer of raw silk with over 30% market share. Two-thirds of the production was exported, mainly to the US. Production drastically decreased during World War II. After the war, the Japanese government tried to revitalize sericulture. However, with commercialization of nylon and other synthetic materials, Japan’s raw …

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Noriko Kiyota’s long love for Kimono

Noriko Kiyota is a publisher, editor, writer and photographer.   Above all she loves kimono. For almost 50 years, her magazine, Japanese Kimono +, has been educating Kimono enthusiasts and advising the kimono industry how to adapt their business to lifestyle changes in Japan. To insure that it never diverges from a consumer’s point of view, her …

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