Kioi Art Gallery, Edo Ise-Katagami Kimono Museum Tokyo, Japan

Ise-katagami is the Japanese craft of making paper stencils for dyeing textiles. It has been designated as one of the Important Intagible Cultural Properties of Japan and there is currently a group of masters who are keeping the tradition alive. With over 5,000 stencils from the Edo to the Showa periods, the Edo Ise-Katagami Museum has Japan’s largest Ise-Katagami collection.

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Come to this treasure trove of beautiful traditional kimono patterns and discover the design and techniques of this exquisite Japanese craft!

First developed during the Muromachi period (1337-1573) in Suzuka, a city in the Ise area of Mie prefecture, Ise-katagami is the craft of paper stencils used in kimono dyeing, made on multiple layers of thin washi paper bonded with persimmon juice. Initially controlled and supported by the Kishū Domain, Ise-Katagami became increasingly popular throughout the Edo period. It is nowadays recognized as a fine and applied art.
We opened this museum with the desire to introduce to the world Ise-katagami stencils from the Edo to the Shōwa periods. Our rich collection includes numerous Japanese patterns such as Edokomon originally used for samurai kimonos, kikagaku (geometrical abstract designs), kachōfūgetsu (traditional themes of natural beauty in Japanese aesthetics) and kojiraireki (representations of classical literature and history). In the closing days of the Edo period, renowned scholar Dr. Siebold brought a large number of Ise-katagami stencils along with ukiyo-e prints to Europe, sparking the birth of the japonisme movement, and spreading the appreciation of this refined craft beyond Japan’s borders and all over the world.

Open: 11:00-17:00 Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays