Rare 1945 Ohshima Tsumugi Silk Roll - YokoDana.com Auction

October 14, 2017 Yoko Lewis

Auction 5373 Ohshima Tsumugi Silk Roll

Auction 5373 Ohshima Tsumugi Silk Roll-2

5373: Item Details and Description

This is a rare find, a roll from during World War II, early 1940s, of a high quality deadstock silk (new but unsold stock) from Amami Islands in Japan. Details on this part of Japan's special pongee silk-making process can be found on the National Foundation for Promoting the National Costume of Japan web site, which  explains the natural plant dyes and mud  etc. used in making Ohshima Tsumugi, quoted here:
Characteristics: A plain woven silk fabric with pre-dyed scoured threads both for warp and weft. The color is refined and calm and the fabric is soft and difficult to wrinkle. Threads are dyed with plant dyes such as "Techiki" (Raphilolepis umbellata) and indigo (Persicaria tinctoria) with a technique, peculiar only to "Oshima Tsumugi," called "Ori Jime." As a variety, an additional treatment is made to the dyed thread by dipping them in muddy water. It is "Doro(mud) Zome(dyeing)." There are several kinds of "Oshima Tsumugi":"Doro Oshima," "Ai(indigo) Oshima," "Doro Ai Oshima," "Iro(color) Oshima" and "Natsu(summer) Oshima."

This roll is exceptional in that we found it in remarkably good condition for its age with its maker's seals and certificates still intact; it had been well cared for, so looks like new. 

Color looks  dark brown-almost black from a distance in room light but on close inspection you can see that there are very thin lines of dark indigo within the pinstripes, interwoven, quite different.

Rarely found, popular among Antique Japanese textile aficionados.

Condition: EXCELLENT, remarkable condition for it's age, Like new.


1. General Info about YokoDana Kimono Auctions:

Because of the number of our regular customers who are collectors and/or fans of traditional Japanese textiles, we sometimes hold private auctions for our members first, before we try to sell things elsewhere (our web site or ebay). This auction --as well as our recently started 'members-only lotteries' -- are our way of trying to give everyone interested a fair shot at acquiring these special textiles, not just the person who was lucky enough -- and quick enough -- to be on line when the goodies are first posted. We just wanted to explain our rationale for this.

2. How it works:

We do not have a live auction software platform so need to keep it simple:

  • Auction will run until Monday, October 16, 2017. 11:59PM Eastern USA time (October 17,2017, 03:59 GMT).
  • We ask those interested in bidding on this roll to send us their best offer, the most they want to pay (US$). Reserve bid is US$45.00 (shipping not included).
  • If you want to be notified when your bid has been exceeded we can let you know the current bid ONE TIME. This is possible up until two hours before close of the auction, 
  • Please send us a message with "5373 AUCTION" in the subject and body of an email to:

 (Not a link), or by using our web mail form HERE.


We will announce to members of our opt-in list what the high bid amount was within 24 hours of the end of auction and contact winner directly.

Thank you and good luck!

Yoko Lewis

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