JAPAN HERITAGE, Kiryu Textile Hall Former Building
Explore 1,300 years of history and tradition at the JAPAN HERITAGE, Kiryu Textile Memorial Hall
Museum (Japan Heritage)
Kiryu is the “loom” of Japan. Known by the pseudonym “The City of Weaving,” Kiryu is a comprehensive textile production center that brings together a range of textile techniques. It boasts a long history, with records showing that silk textiles were sent as tribute to the imperial court in the year 714. These textiles flourished under the Edo Shogunate, being considered auspicious after Tokugawa Ieyasu rode to victory at the Battle of Sekigahara under a banner of Kiryu silk. In the Meiji Era, the area was the first to introduce cutting edge technology of its time. Modern production systems were established, and Kiryu grew to become one of the world’s greatest textile production centers.
Kiryu textiles have patterns woven from dyed thread and are known as “pre-dyed figured fabric.” Also known as jacquard textiles, they are characterized by their soft texture and unique sheen. There are seven weaving techniques, known as omeshi-ori, yokonishiki-ori, tatenishiki-ori, fuutsuu-ori, ukitate-ori, tatekasurimon-ori and mojiri-ori.
Obi sashes and kimono made from Kiryu textiles are considered to be of the highest rank and were designated as a Traditional Craft in 1972. In recent years, Kiryu textiles have been used in western-style clothing, garnering attention as a material for the apparel industry. They are now exported around the world.
The Kiryu Textile Memorial Hall is housed in a building constructed in 1934 as the office of the Kiryu Textile Weavers Cooperative Association. The structure was accredited by the Agency for Cultural Affairs as a “Japan Heritage” site in 2015 and is also a cultural asset of Kiryu City. It is an imposing building in the western style, whose first floor is mainly devoted to sales space with an elaborate display of hand looms. It carries a range of items, including Japanese and western style textiles and clothing fabrics. The second floor is an exhibition space that displays many invaluable looms, documents and items of yesteryear. There is also a chance to experience using a hand loom.
Access is a short five minute walk from JR Kiryu Station. As the Japanese saying goes -- “Nishijin to the west and Kiryu to the east” -- so why not come explore the history and charms of Kiryu Textiles which have long been at the forefront of Japan's textiles industry.
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- 6-6 Eirakucho, Kiryu City, Gunma
- Telephone number
- Business Hours
- Days closed
- Closed on the last Saturday and Sunday of each month, as well as from August 13th to 16th, and December 29th to January 3rd.
- Entrance free of charge.
- Official website
- Official website (Japanese)