example, there are Nabeshima-gata, Shimazu-gata, Kaga-zome and
Kishu-gata patterns as well as the
pattern for the Shogun,etc.
Among these, Ebisuya, the dyers for the Nambu family,a branch of the Takeda family, has one of the oldest traditions,going back to Koshu-Nambu-go (Yamanashi Prefecture) where the Nambu family originated.
The Nambu-gata patterns that came out of this tradition continue today and are called "the original Nambu-gata patterns."
other words, I, Nobuaki Ono,am the 18th generation, and we
have an almost 500 year history.
We moved to Morioka when the castle of Lord Nambu was built here, and we have been doing business at our present location
for about 350 years. We can be sure of this by consulting our family tree, which shows the 5th year of the Kanei Period (1628).
The special characteristics of Nambu-gata are dynamic patterns with delicate expression and graceful flow. In short,
can be said that the heroic nature of the Nambu and the art loving
personalities of the Lords of Nambu Castle penetrated even to the
This work of mine is fostered by this historical tradition and has been handed down from my ancestors.I always make an effort to revive the wonderful styles and patterns of my ancestors. If this is transmitted to future generations as a small light in Japanese culture, I will be very happy.
of the Stencil and Dye-proof Paste
The process of old fashioned Nambu stencil dyeing is in short just what the words say; based on a stencil, a paste is applied to the cloth and an undyed pattern is left behind.
Cloth dyed in this way is of course used for kimonos, as well as purses,card cases, noren, obi, table centers,table cloths, various types of bags, and many other things.
One feels the naturalness and heroic movement seen in the gracefulness of this classic art, and may I say a unique feeling, a nuance maybe, or something like that that comes
out of the stencil dyeing.
If I begin telling how the stencils are made, I would say they start with the design. After the design is finished, it is placed on the stencil paper, and the pattern is cut out based on it. This is one of the most important techniques in stencil dyeing, and it requires long training, patience and effort.
four stencil cutting techniques are as follows:
Tsukibori: Using the point of the knife, the pattern is cut out by pushing the knife forward.
The tip of the chisel (nomi) is a half circle. Using this tip against
the paper, a circular shape is cut out by spinning the
Dogubori: The tip of the chisel is circular, square, or one of a number of other shapes, and that shape is formed in the stencil by means of a stabbing motion.
Hikibori: This is also called shimabori. A straight edge is placed on the stencil paper, and a stripe is cut by pulling the knife towards oneself.
Besides these, some-e (picture dyeing) techniques are among those with a long history. In short, the picture is drawn by squeezing the dye-proof paste out of a tube.
are coloring and painting techniques for the pictures, and the
completed using them. This is one of the three techniques for dyeing with uncolored spots that originated in the Tempyo Period (710 to 794), and can be thought of as descending from wax printing (batik).
At that time, beeswax is said to have been used, but in the Momoyama Period (16th century), it is said to have been replaced with a paste.
present, there are very few people doing this kind of dyeing, and it
is very rare.
The following is a brief explanation of the dye-proof paste used at our factory, for your reference:
A small amount of rice bran is added to rice flour, and it is kneaded with the proper amount of hot water until it becomes sticky and elastic. It is then steamed for about two hours,and it becomes stronger and thicker. So that it does not get too hard, a small amount of hot water is added and it is kneaded with a stick and stored that way.
On the other hand,a proper amount of rice bran is added to a small amount of refined rice bran and mixed with the base paste that has been stored in a separate container to make the dye-proof paste.
that time it is important that salt be added to preserve the
softness, so the paste will not dry out and crack.
Usually a mixture of three parts paste to two parts of the rice bran product is thought to be proper for standard stencil dyeing. Of course, depending on what it is used for and the fineness or coarseness of the pattern, the amounts in the mixture must be adjusted.
Next, here is a simple explanation of the dyeing process:
(1) Prior to dyeing, the cloth is processed and dried so that the weaving paste and oils in the thread are removed.
(2) The dye-proof paste is applied to the dried cloth using the stencil.
(3) Next is Jiire: Soy bean juice is applied to the material to which the paste has been applied in order to facilitate the penetration of the dye.
(4) The dye is applied with a brush, and if variation in shade is needed, accents are made with the proper dyes. After dyeing,
the piece is dried and washed to complete the process.
However, there are many other methods, and this one is just an example.
(facing cranes pattern)
This is a diamond shaped pattern made with the Mukai-zuru, the crest of Lord Nambu. This diamond shaped crane pattern is a pattern peculiar to old fashioned Nambu stencil dyeing.
(thousand plover pattern)
Ebisuya Sanuemon, the dyer who went to Sannohe with Nambu Yoshimitsu, the lord of Koshu-Nambu-go, is said to have cut out this pattern after having been fascinated by the beauty of a flock of plover at the seaside. This is a pattern peculiar to old fashioned Nambu stencil dyeing.
Hagi (Nambu Japanese bush clover pattern)
This is thought to be the oldest Nambu stencil dyeing pattern.
One can see the beautiful flow of lines within a disorderly pattern.
南部古代型染元 蛭子屋 (有)小野染彩所
"Nanbukodaikatazomemoto Ebisuya Onosensaisyo”
10-16 Zaimoku-cho .Morioka-shi