Craftsmen of Shimane

[Yasugi-ori] Connecting handcraft traditions from design to weaving

~ Indigo-dyed threads and warm patterns of craftwork~


Yasugi-ori Weaving Kyoko Endo

Tap-Tap, Tap-Tap. At the workshop, pleasant rhythmic sounds come from a loom that has been used for three generations. All processes from design to thread adjustment are done by hand. Yasugi-ori, the traditional crafts that use techniques established in the Edo period (1603 - 1867), is a type of fabric called Egasuri (picture ikat) that is developed from kasuri (splashed pattern) characterized by its hazy patterns. We interviewed Mrs. Endo, a producer of Yasugi-ori (Yasugi weaving), which originated in Yasugi City.

The history and characteristics of Yasugi-ori fabrics

When did the history of Yasugi-ori fabrics begin?
Yasugi-ori was born around 1929. Production began in earnest in the time of my husband's grandmother (Komano), when Kanjiro Kawai named her weaving ‘Yasugi-ori’. From there it was passed on to my mother (Chieko).

At the beginning, I did not intend to take over Yasugi-ori and no interest in textiles either. After marrying to my husband, I was helping my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law, and I found myself making it on my own without realized it and it became what it is today
Tell us what attracts people to Yasugi-ori
I think the comforting and gentle texture is the reason why people love Yasugi-ori.
Yasugi-ori weaves the patterns using kasuri threads as the weft. There is no special technique, but the impression of the outcome differs greatly depending on the pressure is added during weaving.

Creative techniques and works being passed down in the land of Yasugi

What do you keep in mind for making products?
I try to weave as calmly and gently as possible. If I feel unhappy when I weave, my feelings are woven into the work and it ends up looking sad, so I try to face the loom gently when weaving.
Since most of my works are made after receiving orders, I visualize the customer’s happy face or gentle expressions the person would likely make while weaving my work
What kind of works do you handle?
I have works that can be displayed in frames as well as products such as kimonos, noren (decorative curtain at the entrance), and scarfs. I also have products made with traditional techniques, and are suitable for everyday use in today's lifestyle. Products like coasters, book covers, and bags tend to catch the eye and many people pick them up. It would be nice to create things like a smartphone cover if I figured out a good way to make it.

When I take an order, I discuss the design with the customer. Sometimes I receive requests to show letters in Kasuri style that is with blurred edges.
What are your thoughts about passing down such traditional skills for the future?
Now my daughter and grandchild are interested in Yasugi-ori and helping me; so, I would be happy if they learn little by little, as they help me, just like I did.
It would be nice if someone engages with Yasugi-ori in a natural way. Because once the technology has been discontinued, it would be difficult to connect it to the next generation.
Tell us about your future development plans and goals.
I want more people know about Yasugi-ori. While there are some local people love and enjoy it since my grandmother’s time, but there are also people who don't know that it has been continued to my generations.
I have even had my works placed in the gallery of a coffee shop to make the local people more interested in Yasugi-ori. Now, I am planning to offer trial lessons. It is because, to my surprise, there are many young people want to try weaving. Currently, not many looms are available and it is difficult to have their wish come into practice. However, I am hoping to increase the number of looms in the future and to let people to experience the fun of weaving through hands-on experience.

About Yasugi-ori

Yasugi-ori was born in Yasugi City at the beginning of the Showa period (1926-1989) and was designated as a Shimane Prefecture Traditional Local Hand Craft in 1981. Each piece is carefully and tenderly woven. If you have not yet had the opportunity to hold one in your hands, please come and experience the beautiful work and techniques of Yasugi-ori.



  • Yasugi-ori Weaving
  • 692-0011
  • 1397 Yasugi-cho, Yasugi, Shimane
  • Phone : 0854-22-2578
  • Fax : 0854-22-2578
  • Business hours : 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Closed : Not Fixed