Kengo Kuma, a world-renowned architect, and Noriko Tsuiki, a textile designer who has restored and revived Kokura-ori textiles. The encounters between these two professionals resulted in the creation of “KUMASHIMA”, a collaboration textile that transcends the boundaries between different fields.
This textile brand was created for the main use in architecture, interior design and furniture, which until now had been considered difficult to use with traditional Japanese textiles.
The creation process continued with “the power of plants” as the common language between two professionals.
Noriko Tsuiki’s approach to utilising the colours of nature is similar to that of Kengo Kuma, who uses indigenous methods to blend architecture into the environment. It did not take long for them to share the same image of what they were aiming for.
It is a new expression of Japanese textiles, created by two professionals fascinated by the abstract nature of stripes.
The brand is the successful fruition of the world of stripes KOKURA SHIMA SHIMA has been pursuing.
Textile photos: Masayuki Hayashi
The variety of green colours in plants is so multi-layered that it is indescribable. Leaf’s roundness, sharpness, thickness, thinness, brightness, depth. No two are alike.
I can’t help but feel in awe of nature.
KA sofa, designed by Kengo Kuma
In the deepest forests where the sun never seems to shine, there seems to be a flurry of tree spirits that you would never expect to see in everyday life. The colour green embraces my humble wish that all living things may continue to exist together.
The Kanji for darkness includes a sound. The world of dark grey to black expresses feeling and respecting the various things that exist even if they cannot be seen. The tone colour inspired by this philosophy is connected to the design of these stripes.
FU sofa, FU partition, FU bed, FL low table designed by Kengo Kuma
Through the window, where the light comes through, what colours can you see?
Numerous white streaks of light jumping into your eyes when you squint. The white world reflecting the drapery of light in the fabric of Kokura-ori.
FU sofa and FU bed, designed by Kengo Kuma
Kokura-ori is a textile that was produced at the beginning of the 17th century by the Kokura feudal clan of southern Japan. A cotton cloth with vertical stripes, which was used to make the hakama (samurai trousers) and the obi(sash). This fabric is thick and strong, but has a soft texture, even the first Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa cherished. The use of a greater number of wrap threads in relation to weft threads creates delicate color gradations, giving the vertical stripes design three-dimensional effect. Kokura-ori has a history of more than 400 years and had been used as school uniforms since the Meiji era (1868-1912). The production of Kokura-ori ceased around 1930, however it was revived by textile designer Noriko Tsuiki in 1984. Now, Kokura-ori continues to evolve further: in 2022, Kokura-ori was registered as the Regional collective trademarks by the Japan Patent Office. Kokura-ori as hand-woven textiles were also designated as the traditional craftwork by the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture.
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