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Home > Permanent Exhibitions > Echigo Chijimi

The Flame-style Pottery (National Treasure)

Life in a Jomon Village

Death and Burial

Oida Castle and Date-Hachimankan Ruins

Echigo Chijimi

Winter Tools

Echigo Angin

Silk Goods

Botanical Garden and Iseki Park

Echigo Chijimi (Important Cultural Property)
What Is Echigo Chijimi?

Echigo Chijimi is a type of kimono textile woven from hemp that is light yet sturdy, and mainly worn in the summer. It is made by tightly twisting threads together using a weft and warp knitting technique. During the Edo period, the Uonuma Region was well known for its production of Echigo Chijimi. At one point in the Tenmei period (1781-1789), the region was producing around 200,000 tan* a year. A textile marketplace established in Tokamachi City quickly flourished.

*A tan is a bolt of fabric used to make a kimono

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Ramie

Nettle Plant
The fibers taken from this plant are torn into small bits then twisted together to make the threads used in Echigo Chijimi kimono.

Ramie Fiber

(From left) Shin-so, kage-so, watashi-sou
Ramie is separated into the 3 different groups depending on its length. Kage-so is used to make Echigo Chijimi.

Tools Used For Spinning
Spinning Wheel
Loom
A Glimpse of How the Looms Were Used

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Koshinoyamatsuto

Much like Suzuki Bokushi's famous literary work Hokuetsu Seppu, Koshinoyamatsuto, which is part of the collection of Echigo Chijimi related items registered as an important tangible folk-cultural property, describes the way of life in the Echigo region. It was published in 1800 (Kansei period) by Chiaki Kanazawa, and the illustrations were drawn by Kamei Kyojyu. The book is mainly an account of the visit of the Shogunate to Kikyokubara in Tazawa Village (current day Tokamachi City) to inspect rice field construction. It details thing such as the local mannerisms, nature, and use of snow tools. It also features, complete with annotations and illustration, a great length of information on the production process of Echigo Chijimi.

This illustration portrays how Echigo Chijimi was made using a loom.

Here is a look at the beginning stages of the spinning process.

This is an illustration of Yamame and Zenmai (a wild vegetable).
Aside from textiles, there are also illustrations of things like nature in this book.

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