“I think passing on Edo Komon to the next generation gives meaning to my life”. What is this idea of the ‘world of small beauty’ that the heir of the fourth generation of Hirose’s dyeing factory, Mr. Yuichi Hirose, talks about?
‘Edo Komon’ was born of the Samurai fashion taste during the Edo period. Each pattern has desire and meaning, and was loved by many people independently of their standing. The artisans continued to pursue the ‘minimal beauty’ of carving ‘fine and beautiful patterns’ and dyeing them. I have come upon the solution of how the Hirose dyeing factory would bring Edo Komon to modern times. Edo Komon is seen as a symbol of ‘elegance’ and ‘beauty’ in Japan.
The origins of Edo Komon developed from Samurai attire known as Kamishimo.
Crossing national borders, “drawing a new breath and creating unprecedented value”
Edo Komon makes you feel the search for ‘beauty’ and ’fashion’ intensely. In modern times, anyone can work freely in fashion, but the ‘traditional industry’ is a world of techniques that stands apart from current trends. How will Hirose’s dyeing factory pass on this traditional industry to the future? Through trial and error, they searched for a method to bring Edo Komon to modern times. “I have many opportunities to go to Paris for work, and I’m working so that folk that have inherited traditional techniques in France get to know Edo Komon. I’m also putting together a project to create new Komon with a French designer. I think that several of these projects will create new value. Edo Komon are patterns that have been passed on from the Edo period, but since it is universal in terms of its design, I think it has a broad global significance.” Through the ‘EDO TOKYO RETHINK’ exhibit, I would like for the public to experience the work of Hirose’s dyeing factory, which is not bound by stereotypes and has a global outlook.
The artisan’s commitment is reflected on the detailed pattern that cannot be discerned from afar.
‘Confidence’ is the ‘power’ that will drive the next generation
“If we only work in Japan, sometimes we worry about the future of our art, but by looking to the world and showing the culture we have cultivated, we realize our value. Only then can we realize that we are the heirs of this culture”. “If you lose your confidence, you won’t be able to make products and pass them on to the next generation. Being confident in our own work is what drives me. It is something that I value highly in my work”. Yuichi Hirose’s words and insights are valuable inspiration, but our work is no easy task. By getting our work done, we inspire and empower ourselves and in order to move forward. I believe grit and strength are displayed everyday in the ‘world of minimal beauty’.
The fourth generation of Edo Komon with Yuichi Hirose’s brand name on it is ‘a masterpiece’ that can only be expressed personally.