Aug 12, 2007

Atelier Kanawa's Profile-Pursuing Japanese Cultures & Traditions

Atelier Kanawa (means "studio to play Japanese harmony & peace") would love to share her stories of her ancestors who were in Kimono business.
Her great grand father was an artisan to dye Kimono designs, mainly Yukata(summer Kimono), her grand mother was a Kimono tailor, and both her mother and her aunt graduated from Kimono school and her aunt taught Kimono classes in Japan.

She didn't know these remarkable histories of her family members for such a long time, however, without knowing these facts, one day she became inspired to learn about Kimono.

Since January in 2005, she has been studying Kimono to dress herself, and since March 2006, she has been learning to dress others.
Currently, she is preparing to officially become a Kimono Consultant/adviser through "Sodo" Kimono Academy, in Fall, 2007. She accomplished the beginner's level 1, level 2, and also the intermediate level. She is now in the advance course.
You can read the biography of her principal Mr. Norio Yamanaka (also an appointed chairman of the All Japan Kimono Consultants Association) at:

Atelier Kanawa also studies to dye Kimono designs by Bingata & Kata-zome which are traditional Japanese methods of dyeing fabric using a resist paste applied through stencil. These methods use all natural ingredient for ink, brush, and fabric.

Atelier Kanawa is also pursuing classical Japanese dance by Hanayagi-style, which includes Geisha dance, Noh, and Kabuki. She graduated from the beginner's level in June 2006, from intermediate level on June 30th in 2007, and currently in advance level.

Lastly, Atelier Kanawa passionately pursues Tsumami Kanzashi, a traditional Japanese long ornamental hairpin.
Today, there are ONLY 15 acknowledged artisans of TSUMAMI KANZASHI in the whole world. Most of them don't have anybody to carry out this traditional art, so it is RAPIDLY & CERTAINLY dying out.
Atelier Kanawa was accepted as a private pupil by one of them even though her master does not teach anybody due to critical symptoms of cancer. Her master was deeply moved by the fact the she strongly wants to preserve this artwork and carry this out to the future generation. She can not even put in words how much she was honored to inherit her master's spirit.

At the beginning, she was basically making things from Kimono because she purely enjoyed handcrafting, but most importantly, she could not afford them, so she had to hand make them (haha^^;) so that she could have them whenever she wore Kimono. And one day, people who saw her art work suggested that she sells. This is how she started Kimono handcraft business.

Beside Kimono handcraft, Atelier Kanawa has been selling Chiyo-gami accessories since year 2000, fused glass accessories, PMC jewelries, image transfer accessories, Japanese embroidery since year 2005.

Today, she deeply regards her ancestors who were in Kimono business. She passionately strives to pass this "disappearing culture" on to the next generation throughout the world.

Atelier Kanawa will be very happy if you enjoy her authentic Japanese art work.