Official

JAPAN HERITAGE, Kiryu Textile Hall Former Building

Explore 1,300 years of history and tradition at the JAPAN HERITAGE, Kiryu Textile Memorial Hall

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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.

Clad with scratched-face tiles and with a blue-green Japanese-Western roof.
Clad with scratched-face tiles and with a blue-green Japanese-Western roof.

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.

Kiryu textile ties and scarves are on sale. Special exhibitions are also being held.
Kiryu textile ties and scarves are on sale. Special exhibitions are also being held.
Tools, including invaluable looms, that were once used in Kiryu are on display on the second floor.
Tools, including invaluable looms, that were once used in Kiryu are on display on the second floor.

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.

Photos

  • Clad with scratched-face tiles and with a blue-green Japanese-Western roof.

    Clad with scratched-face tiles and with a blue-green Japanese-Western roof.

  • Kiryu textile ties and scarves are on sale. Special exhibitions are also being held.

    Kiryu textile ties and scarves are on sale. Special exhibitions are also being held.

  • Tools, including invaluable looms, that were once used in Kiryu are on display on the second floor.

    Tools, including invaluable looms, that were once used in Kiryu are on display on the second floor.

Reviews

1
  • 黃子芹

    館內擺放早期使用的舊機器還有一些紡織品,介紹的內容看不懂,桐生織價格不菲但名氣好像又沒有西陣織來得大

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Details

Address
6-6 Eirakucho, Kiryu City, Gunma
Telephone number
0277-43-7272
Business Hours
10:00am-5:00pm
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.
Fee
Entrance free of charge.
Official website
Official website (Japanese)