How our Te-ten Tenugui was born  "ててんてぬぐい"ができるまで/英訳版






"ててんてぬぐい"ができるまで 英訳版 翻訳協力:りかお

Hello, everyone! 

Can you see many of illustrations based on hands?

This is a draft of “Te-ten Tenugui”.

What is  Te-ten Tenugui” ?
Tenugui is a Japanese cotton towel, plain weaved and normally dyed with some pattern.
And it is our original item of “Te-ten” exhibit, sold at the exhibition, 
and some cooperated shops, to make money to run the exhibits operated 
by volunteer stuff and mind.galleries related to this, 

Today we go back to the day, 14 March 2013, when this Te-ten Tenugui was born.  
You are warmly invited to the dye factory “Asahi Senko” with Haremi Shinohara, 
Junko Hayakawa and Akemi Yamafuku, the participating artists to this exhibition.
 Hope you enjoy getting to know how this cute Te-ten Tenugui arrived to this world!

It should be interesting very much to see the process of dyeing by hands, 
and also the machines and tools used here.

Now the door is open! Welcome to the Tenugui world!

“Te-ten”=“From Hand to Hand Exhibition 
From the picture book artists to children, message of 3.11.2011”

How our Te-ten Tenugui was born

At the Asahi Someko, the tenugui factory
14 March, 2013 reported by Akemi Yamafuku

Translation by Ricao

We visited Asahi Someko, to observe the process of our tenugui.

This is a direction to the craftsperson to gluing on the material in the manner of silkscreen. 

It says “Pay attention; the patterns should not be collapsed 
or “eaten” since those are tiny and detailed.”

 And look, it says “The customers request to observe when dyeing.” 

We are choosing the color of the chemical dye.

The innermost on the left is our color, orange.

Next to the orange, smaller color tip “reddish yellow” that 
I brought is seen; one of the Japanese traditional colors. 

The right color has been found!

As for indigo, it was hard to decide one among 6 colors. 

We talked with the craftsperson and we have chosen the lighter indigo at last.

He makes a paste over the mold put in wooden frame in the manner of silkscreen. 

The frame, squeegee made of cypress, 
and pins to fix the mold on the frame were all specially ordered. 

Now you can see the mold on the frame, white material for tenugui,
 glue in the big bowl, and squeegee.  How exiting!

To prepare the mold, they use the thick, many layered “washi” papers.  

Cut the papers along the patterns. 
Glue the roughly weaved silk on that surface, 
and paint the “urushi” lacquer to make it steady. 

Through this work, the mold can be strong enough to endure 4,000 prints!

 I’m happy and proud of being a Japanese since we have such a beautiful skill. 

Here are 20 to 30 layers of materials glued and prepared.  
They leave them for a while before dyeing.

She, a young staff spreads the dye over the many-layered
 materials with a special watering can.

I felt like working here, but the president honestly replied me that 

“It is quite hard for women to work here to dye the materials 
because you have to carry a bunch of heavy stuff.  

You should be very tough. Just folding or rolling up the materials, 
it is the job suits for women, I suppose.”   

Oh, pitty…

She pours the dye carefully and evenly over the materials like this photo,

 repeating over and over.

They dry the plenty of liquid dye with the pressure by the machine.

It is hard to explain with words… 

And then… Here comes our Te-ten Tenugui!

Looking up the ceiling, 
many of watering can specially used for the dye can be seen on the liang.  

They choose which to use depends on the size and the finess of the patterns. 

The president told me that it is really a pity that the number 
of craftsperson who can make these tools is decreasing.  

And he continues: They used to divide their work to finish the tenugui, 
for example, making glue, curving the mold… 

there used to be each specialized craftsperson but 
the number of this kind of factory is decreasing.

A certain number of factories should be operated in all. 
So that specialized craftsperson can continue their job. 

It is no use if only his factory, Asahi Someko is busy.  

The cans of melted dye are put in this corner.

Years ago, the colors of tenugui were not varied. 

But recently the kind of chemical dye has been increased 
since various colors are requested.

They use hot or cold water properly depending on the type of dye.

The dyed materials are left for a while to be adapted.

In this stage, I could see the color appeared on the thin line, 
even though it couldn’t be seen before.  How interesting…

Next process is washing in the water, not drying.

There is such a big washing machine…

Years ago, they used to wash the materials in the river in front of the factory.

It was raining in the morning, so we were lucky
 to see the way of drying inside of the factory.

This enormous machine eats the materials and releases the heat to dry. 

The president said the electric expense is really high.

He was also telling us about this machine a lot and 
he made us pretty worry about the expense…

This is a dryer.  Next to our tenugui, 

you can see the one with skeleton pattern.

This corner is used when they dry, roll up, and fold the materials.

You can see the river out of the window.
Years ago there was not an embankment, 
so they used to fix the materials on this window,
 to spread and wash them in the river. 

You can feel all the way the history engraved to this wooden building.

They are drying materials outside. 

Somebody is standing on the roof! Scary! 

Our Te-ten Tenugui is second from right!

From right to left, Skelton, teten, beckoning cat, mountain range…

The while ones were washed before dyeing.

We left the factory longing to observe the process of another color.

Our tenugui was flapping in the strong wind 
with the skeleton and cat as if waving hands. 

Akemi Yamafuku

Our Te-ten Tenugui was born like this, from the craftsmanship,
 coming down from people to people, being polished and raised in history.

I hope you enjoy our Te-ten Tenugui a lot in various ways; to dry the sweat, 
wrap the head, dry your tears, use for a suck or a case of tissues, etc. 


Teten-tenugui  1,620yen including tax
Produced and designed by Akemi Yamafuku and Maiko Suzuki

It is available at the exhibit of Te-ten, 
galleries related to this, and some cooperated shops.

Its proceeds are used for the project related to Te-ten and run by volunteer,
 and the rest goes to the organization to support the children 
under the earthquake and radiation disaster.

The discoloration of tenugui is the property of particles of the dye.
In this process, pour a plenty of dye, more than usual, to dye 30 to 40 
layered materials at a time. It causes the extra particles stick on the materials.
 The color may be fallen a lot at the first wash, but gradually it stays okay. 
Please pay attention and do not wash it with other clothes for some couple of times.  

Azuma bukuro Sack of Te-ten Tenugui

Let me introduce you how to make the Azuma bukuro sack, 
instructed by Ms. Takeishi from Chihiro Museum Tokyo.

Saw two sides and tie the handle. It is easy! Pease try it!

Fold the tenugui by three inside out.
Saw from A to B, and from C to D.
Turn it over, pull the angles E and F.
Reinforce the yellow part with a pressing
 cloth if possible, or saw there about 2cm.

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