Sat, Aug 29, 2020

TSUMUGU repair of Uesugi garments begins in Kyoto with expert deliberations

The repair work of garments associated with the once powerful Uesugi clan to be carried out under the Tsumugu Project got under way, as repair experts gathered at the Kyoto National Museum on Aug. 20 to begin deliberations on how to proceed.

The four garments from the Muromachi-Momoyama period that will go under repair — all of which are designated important cultural properties — include clothing said to have been once donned by Uesugi Kenshin, the historical warlord, and Uesugi Kagekatsu, the first daimyo (lord) of the Yonezawa domain. Uesugi Jinja — a shrine dedicated to Kenshin — in Yonezawa, Yamagata Pref., is the owner of the four items.

Experts discuss how to mend a dobuku (samurai coat) in patchwork of fabric such as gold and silver brocades. (Yomiuri Shimbun photo)

A dobuku (samurai coat) in patchwork of imported fabric including gold and silver brocades is one of the garments to undergo repair.

The lining of the yellow garment is left with only weft. The experts intend to cover the lining with new cloth to prevent further deterioration. (Yomiuri Shimbun photo)

Experts from Shokakudo, a workshop based in Kyoto, and others gathered at a repair facility inside the museum to work out the details of the operation. One of the things decided upon was to apply new cloth to the severely damaged lining of a lustrous yellow dobuku to prevent further deterioration. The coloring of the new cloth also came up for discussion.

The Tsumugu Project — jointly organized by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, Imperial Household Agency and national daily The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo) — raises funds to help restore the nation’s centuries-old artistic treasures by holding special exhibitions and seeking financial cooperation from major companies.

From The Yomiuri Shimbun’s Aug. 21 issue and other sources

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