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In Praise of Life

Kimono, the traditional costume of Japan.  
Kimonos are well known throughout the world, but their diversity of shapes and materials is still not well known.  
The Nagoya Kuromontsuki-zome is a historical kimono that has been handed down by Yamakatsu Senko since 1919.  
The Kuromontsuki-zome is dyed in deep, glossy black and has been worn in everyday life as a kimono with a crest. Japanese people have also loved to wear this beautiful black kimono as formal wear to share important milestones in their lives with their loved ones since ancient times.  

Yamakatsu Senko has just completed “In Praise of Life,” a collection of wool coats dyed with the special “black dyeing” technique used for Kuromontsuki-zome.  
In response to Mr. Nakamura’s wish to make Japanese culture more accessible, the designer researched the kimono form inherited from his grandmother and developed the collection of three items: the “Black Dyed KIMONO Coat,” the “Black Dyed HAORI Coat,” and the “Black Dyed HAORI Cape.  

The material used is Bishu wool. By using fabrics from the wool production area around Ichinomiya City, which, together with Nagoya City, is located in Aichi Prefecture, the entire production process from fabric to dyeing was carried out in the same area.  
We hope that people around the world will “admire life” by wearing our beautiful black outerwear.  

Black Dyeing 
Since it is difficult to achieve a deep black color by black dyeing alone, a preliminary dyeing process using red dye has been used since ancient times.  
Red dye equivalent to approximately 5% of the fabric is dissolved in boiling water to make a dye solution, which is then placed in a dyebath to dye the fabric.  
The dye is precisely adjusted, which can only be done by craftsmen with many years of experience.  
To achieve black color, the fabric is dyed with a 200% to 400% concentration of dye, and to prevent color fading, we soak the fabric in water for one day and night.  
This makes the dyed fabric more robust and prevents fading over time, resulting in a strong, shiny black color.  
The process is time-consuming and labor-intensive because it is a traditional method, but the warmth, durability, and beautiful black finish made by hand are highly appreciated.  


Yamakatsu Dyeing Co. / Nagoya Kutomontsuki-zome

Yamakatsu Dyeing, a Nagoya black crested dyeing company, was founded in 1919. In addition to Nagoya kokumonzuke dyeing, the company also dyes kimonos, dyes Western-style clothing, and performs other dyeing, re-dyeing, and stain removal services.

The origins of Nagoya kokumonzuke dyeing can be traced back to 1610, when the Kosakai family of the Owari feudal domain began to produce flags and banners for the domain. Later, as demand increased, craftsmen developed their own techniques, which have been preserved for more than 400 years. The distinctive features of this technique are the "mon-tou kanamitsuke" technique, in which the fabric is dyed with a crest that symbolizes a family or clan, and the black color with a high degree of colorfastness obtained by raising the temperature of the dye solution and dyeing it over a long period of time. The deep, rich, beautiful black color that can only be produced by human hands attracts many people.

Yamakatsu Dyeing's corporate philosophy is "To preserve tradition is to continue to change. To preserve the traditional black, we must not forget to change. Yamakatsu Dyeing's corporate philosophy is "To preserve the traditional 'black' while never forgetting to change. In recent years, the company has been working on a variety of projects to change its dyeing techniques to fit today's lifestyle in order to pass on and inherit the dyeing techniques it has developed over the years. They are also dyeing a variety of fabrics such as stoles and apparel using various traditional techniques, without being limited to the traditional kimono. While developing a new world of "dyeing possibilities" in traditional industries, he continues to take on the challenge of communicating the wonder of Japanese culture and traditional techniques.