Ando Yasushi-san is my neighbor and friend. We sometimes go for coffee at a salon-like cafe, where people from various backgrounds come to chat. Ando-san’s hobby is country western line dancing. He is a renowned yuzen kimono painter in Kyoto. Yuzen painting is typically a craft that is cooperatively done by a combination of about 15 different specialists, including a designer, an outline painter, a person who applies resist to the fabric, a broad stroke background dyer, a person who removes the resist from the fabric, a person who paints intricate pictures on the fabric, etc. Ando-san is very unusual in Kyoto, since he does all of the jobs himself, except embroidery.
Ando-san’s latest project is to create a series of works that showcase the embroidery of his friend, Kyoto’s most highly skilled embroiderer, a man in his mid-seventies who is nearing retirement. The purse on the left highlights his friend’s masterful embroidery on Ando-san’s yuzen-dyed handbag. Ando-san explains that these bags will give much deserved attention to a man with extraordinary talent, at the end of his career.
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