Links Pages: YokoDana Kimono Welcome to our E-Neighborhood,1 of 2

YokoDana Kimono's Recommended Links on Japanese Fabrics, Kimono,Culture etc.
Page One

Go to most recent links added on page two of links

 About this links page:

Sites listed here are selected based on their relevance to themes of Japanese culture pertinent to what we sell on our website. While we know some of these sites and can vouch for them, inclusion here does not necessarily mean we have vetted them. You can contact us if you want to know our knowledge or opinion of any site or page linked here. If you have a negative (or excellent) experience with anyone listed here, we would really like to know about it.

We also review relevant sites for listing here from time to time. If you know us & feel that for some reason we have overlooked including you here, or have a site to recommend, please contact us using 'contact' link at bottom of this page.

Yoko Lewis

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Fabrics.net: This is an excellent resource, both having its own detailed content (example: definitions of 'silk'), as well as serving as a clearinghouse of sorts for all fabric-related things. They  have a Facebook page HERE.)
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There is a book by Kathy Pippin, called Quilting With Japanese Fabrics. It comes highly recommended by some of our customers, and the reviews of users on Amazon.com are very positive.

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We recommend a book by a customer of ours, Mary Parker:

Sashiko : Easy & Elegant Designs for Decorative Machine Embroidery
by Mary S. Parker
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We are more than pleased to showcase here a lovely book by one of our customers, Joan Elliott. We are especially proud of her inclusion of a full page picture of a wonderful furisode which she obtained from us. She has captured the spirit of the beauty of traditional Japanese fabric art pieces and themes -- all the while respecting them. It is no easy task -- particularly to one not born and raised in the Japanese culture -- to apply the complex nuance of Japanese artistry to a new (cross-stitch) context. Yoko feels that Joan has done an excellent job of honoring and respecting the tradition, while applying it exquisitely to something new. This book is a gift to cross-stitchers and others as well, as is apparent from the reviews on Amazon.com; Some excerpted reviews follow:

 Book Description:

A Cross Stitcher's Oriental Odyssey
by Joan Elliott

A breathtaking collection of 30 designs around a fashionably Oriental theme. Created by American artist Joan Elliott and skillfully adapted for cross stitch by Design Works for cross stitch. These modern interpretations of classic Oriental images include pictures of fans and ladies in Kimonos, pot lids decorated with bonsai and butterflies; and linen decorated with birds and blossoms.

(Reader Rates this 5 stars) Fantastic book for all cross stitchers!
Reviewer: Judy from Massachusetts USA

This book by Joan Elliott truly takes you on an odyssey....After closing the book it became very clear that Joan Elliott not only loves Oriental art but also has an ability to incorporate it into her cross stitch designs and share it with others. She not only created designs that are appealing but also that relate a story within the borders of their stitches. 

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JREF.COM: Great informational site with some very nice links to various resources about Japan & Japanese culture. Updated frequently and has terrific links to forums, portals and wide range of resource information. Highly Recommended.

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JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization (jetro.org) is a good place to begin searching for product sources or other resources relevant to business in or with Japan. JETRO has offices (and web sites) all around the world and in many languages (see the country link on left of the jetro.org site). If you are business oriented, you might start at another URL, http://www.jetro.go.jp/ which has more commerce /business/ trade related links & resources.


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Immortal Geisha/Global Kimono, Forum, Facebook & Wiki Formerly by Naomi Hormozi:

December 4, 2021 Update:

Banner: Immortal Geisha Facebook Group
For many years Immortal Geisha --first as a website in the 2000's, and then as a Wiki -- was created and run as one person's website. For years there was extensive, in-depth info on the Geisha, Geiko scene and kimono (kitsuke) culture. In 2019  both the Immortal Geisha website and its informational Wiki were closed. The community which had built up around it had evolved into a Facebook Group, whose original logo you see above. So, in answer to this question, this is the absolute best place to start looking for information in this area:
From their Facebook group page description:

Immortal Geisha is a community dedicated to the expansion of knowledge and love of all things related to Kimono, Geisha, and other traditional Japanese cultural arts.

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Stephanie Masae Kimura has published Art to Wear with Asian Flair.  Stephanie is a past visitor to our site and a customer of ours. We first heard of this book at a Quilt show from a number of quilters who recommended it highly. 

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Check out this wonderful book, MATSURI! Japanese Festival Arts ,by Gloria Gonick. Thanks to Susan Fatemi for making us aware of this work.

Excerpt from Foreword:

 The spectacular Japanese community festivals known as matsuri are centuries old. Even today, in a society driven by technological advancement, these annual rites continue to function as a mechanism for purification and renewal and also to ensure all aspects of communal productivity. The pageantry of these events - their extraordinary dress, performance, and Shinto-Buddhist ritual enactment - brings communities together in an act of worship that is, as well, an extravagant artistic celebration. Dominated by the gorgeous textiles worn by troupes of participants, matsuri also boldly incorporate decorated banners, exquisitely "dressed" festival wagons, dramatic masks, and elaborate portable shrines. The historical importance of matsuri within the cycle of annual religious events in Japan is also reflected in the representation of these festivals in several pictorial forms, from lavish screen paintings to elegant woodblock prints.

This volume identifies and describes the exuberant textiles and costumes of matsuri and considers their significance within their cultural context. Many of the examples illustrated date from the Meiji period (1868-1912), the last time when handwork was produced by individual artisans for their own use or that of their neighbors. The unique focus on festival arts in this book allows us to identify the special aesthetics that differentiate the textiles worn and used on Japan's holy days. At matsuri a cascade of beautifully crafted garments in vibrant hues meets the eyes, foregrounded distinctly against the hushed simplicity of the Shinto shrine. It is an incredibly vital spectacle of human artistry at the service of a sacred occasion.

Matsuri! documents the use of textiles in more than 25 different festivals scattered over the length and breadth of Japan. The book interweaves these textiles with the other arts that constitute matsuri as well as with their symbolic meanings and the history of textile making in Japan. Gorgeous photographs bring the festivals to life.

We think that many Japanophiles or textile enthusiasts will find Matsuri! most fascinating. We do -- as we've added it to our personal collection. You can order it on Amazon.com by clicking HERE.

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Looking for Tabi? Cool East Market, located in Canada, has many styles of Tabi from traditional all-cotton to stretchy cotton/nylon blends, in all sizes and colors including Festival Tie-Dye, also Jika Tabi Boots. Very nice folks. If you shop there, please tell them "YokoDana sent me".

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As for sites selling geta, take a look at karankoron.com. Karankoron is the onomonopoetic Japanese word-sound which geta make when walking. We've not worked with this site, but they seem quite legitimate and they've been in business awhile. If you use this site, and have an opinion on them one way or the other, please let us know so we can let others know here. Their English page starts here. In 2021 we reviewed another geta-making operation, getamashi.com 

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Kimono Stands:

September 24, 2016: This URL no longer works: tansullc.com/kimono_stand.htm . This business selling kimono stands in Decatur Georgia for the last few years has been closed. We heard from the owner Eugene Riggin who has retired. He tells us he has one stand left, $350 shipped(USA). To contact him about it call (US)404-288-8125. His email is:  eugeneriggin _at sign gmail d0tc0m (not an email link). Tell him we sent you please.

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Do you like Japanese temari (decorative balls)?

If so, there is an entire site dedicated to them, www.temarikai.com. This is an interesting resource site, which also has a Japanese language version. Owned and managed by Ginny Thompson, Poughkeepsie, New York, this site has patterns,discussion groups, resources links etc etc. We love this kind of niche site, most often an act of love, growing out of the owner's passion, and believe that it may be of interest to the many creative folks who tend to visit our site -- thus this link and recommendation.

More on Temari!

Here's another interesting niche site dedicated to temari. This is a commercial site owned and managed by Barb Suess of Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to temari themselves, her site has unique products as well as resource material and references about the art of temari-making; also has photos, temari jewelry, bibliography, free patterns.

www.japanesetemari.com : Japanese Temari from Barb Suess, Kiku Designs
Discover the ancient craft of temari. Beautiful thread wrapped and embroidered balls. Photo gallery and free patterns.

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Interested in Japanese kasuri (ikat)?

One of our customers, Jeff Krauss, has a wonderful collection of e-gasuri (lit.picture-kasuri) which he has put onto a web site, e-gasuri.com If you enjoy the indigos and Japanese country textiles you'll love this site, which has a remarkable variety with examples of many types of e-gasuri.

We've also added an information page on our site about Japanese kasuri (ikat).
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Excellent book about Kimono & Geisha:

We received a copy of a lovely and special book and are pleased to review The Kimono of the Geisha-Diva Ichimaru (Pomegranate Press, San Francisco). Compiled and written by Barry Till, Michiko Warkentyne, Judith Patt, all of The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, this charming and well-made book centers around a collection of kimono of a famous Geisha, Ichimaru. Her kimono are at the Victoria Gallery, and scheduled to go on tour to museums & galleries around the country in the near future.

Being partial to good visuals, we liked this book from the moment we laid eyes on the cover:
Book: The Kimono of the Geisha-Diva Ichimaru
The rest of the book has a good number of high quality pictures of Ichimaru's kimono(s), Ichimaru at various ages, katsura (wig) and even one picture of dissembled kimono silk fabric as done for cleaning and sometimes re-cycling old kimono silks (called araihari ).

The pictures are excellent and are obviously the center of this book -- and much of its appeal. But we found the complementary text and information to be as valuable in that the content is very well-informed and descriptive. There is a brief summary about the world of the Geisha and some cultural and historical contexts as well as a small bibliography of the better works on the subject of Geisha and use of kimono.

We were pleased also to see informational tidbits in this book which we have not seen in some of the other English books about kimono. Perhaps what we liked most about the text of this book is that the tone is understated, but not arcane nor overly academic. Also, these authors had obvious love and respect for their subject, but did not use hyperbolic or romanticized expressions about this aspect of the Japanese culture. Unlike much Western media attention to the Geisha theme since the premier of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha and other pop culture media portrayals of traditional Japanese themes, this book is a refreshing and respectful work about something which has fascinated -- and eluded -- many in the West for years. This is a welcome addition to our own bibliography.

In short, we recommend this to those who love traditional kimono or who have an interest in the culture and kimono of traditional Geisha. It nicely complements the other fine books on the subject.

You can learn more and/or order this book via Amazon.com by clicking here.

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Sennin Foundation:Center for Japanese Culture Arts: When we Initially posted this site in year 2000 this was an online journal with cultural and scholarly articles. Recently they updated their website. It still is a good resource for many things relating to the Japanese cultural arts, including, martial arts, shodo, Japanese yoga.

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Download Traditional Japanese Kamon and Ukiyoe Images:

Japanese-Clip-Art.com: If you have a blog or your own web site, or just want to decorate your emails or use a screensaver, here is a great little site done by a Japanese artist which offers a good number of traditional crests (kamon) and Ukiyoe images for download.

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Imaginatorium.org: Cool Japanese Puzzles

We love what are called niche sites! Our favorite ones (many of them listed on this page) start off as acts of love, put together because someone has a passion for something and pours it into a web site. Brian Chandler lives in Sano, Japan and contacted us . We were delighted to review his shop which sells gorgeous jig-saw puzzles from Japan.  We recommend this web shop because of the puzzle's visual appeal (that is, we like them), their relevance to the themes of our site, and because the site also has other information on Japan. If you visit the jig saw puzzle shop you will see images like this, a puzzle by Morita Haruyo:

puzzle by Morita Haruyo, on imaginatorium.org in Japan

To see what else Brian offers from his view in Sano, Japan you can visit his home page here. If you visit him please tell him we sent you. 


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