The blurb…

Sashiko is a form of stitching that the Japanese used to make their work clothes until the mid 20th century. This exhibition brings together historic items from Japanese collections and garments by artists still influenced by sashiko today. It also explores the cultural significance of sashiko and the remarkable lives of the women who made and wore it.

This is the first major British exhibition of Japanese sashiko textiles and it is supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Arts Council Yorkshire and Renaissance Yorkshire.

In total, more than 75 garments and related objects, including videos and significant works from Japanese photographer, IWAYIMA Takeji (1920-1989) are included in the exhibition. Most of the exhibits are being shown in the UK for the first time. Lenders include The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, The Aikawa and Ogi Folk Museums, Sado Island, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Fukuoka City Museum and private collectors. Alongside the historical items are examples of more recent work inspired by sashiko.

The personal histories of the inhabitants of Sado island were brilliant.  A lady who has never left the island, now 90 years old, still goes a mile up to her allotment every day.

Women were considered subordinate to men except in the arena of work.  Amazing photos of tiny women dragging enormous parts of tree trunks from the forest to the village.

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