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Japanese Traditional Craft Resource Center Category


Japanese Traditional Craft

Craft Category Livingware
Name Ako dantsu (rug/carpet)

Main Production Site:Hyogo

Along with Nabeshima (Saga prefecture) and Sakai (Osaka prefecture), Ako is counted as one of three famous dantsu (rugs/carpets) in Japan. Dantsu features the distinctive pattern with interweaved lines and curves that create delicate and beautiful colors.

Artisans use the selected cotton yarn only using an elaborate trimming technique called "tsumi" to finish the work. This Ako-originated technique is used to emphasize the contour of the fabric that brings the visually stunning pattern and the silk-like touch that makes this fabric distinctive from others.

[Hyogo prefecture-designated traditional folk craft]
Information provided by: The Preservation Association of Ako dantsu, Ako City Hall
Reference: The Pictorial Record of The Ako Dantsu Exhibition, The Pictorial Record of The Ako Dantsu Exhibition II” (published by Ako City Tabuchi Museum of Art in 2003, 2005)

Materials Cotton yarn
Crafting Processes Weaving (A)
1. Paste the warp yarn with rice glue.
2. Wring them out to remove all excess glue.
3. Reel them on the winder.
4. Twist them.
5. Use the heddle (soukou) to thread them.
6. Tie the yarn on the bamboo beam (boubai-dake).
7. Put them through the reed.
8. Put them on the spool holder.
9. Wind them on the beam (using the stick) to pull tight.

Weaving (B)
10. Paste the weft yarn.
11. Thread them between warps to weave.
12. Beat them with the beater to push securely into place.
13. Wind them for making selvages.
14. Tie the pile hitch with yarn.
15. (Repeat Steps 11 to 14 for 20 rows.)
16. Trim off the ends of tied yarn along the contour to make lines (sujitsumi).
17. Trim them off to smooth the surface. (jitsumi)
18. Repeat Steps 16 and 17.
19. Repeat Steps from 10 to 18.
20. Cut the yarn off from the woven fabric but leave approximately 10cm to tie. (finishing)
21. Moisten the fabric and place it between heavy mats to press. (an old pressing technique "shikinoshi" used before the iron was introduced)

(Reference: The Pictorial Record of The Ako Dantsu Exhibition II (pp.89-93), Ako City Tabuchi Museum of Art Museum, 2005)
History In the late Edo period, Naka Kojima, a woman born and raised in Ako invented Ako dantsu.

Since she succeeded in dantsu commercialization in 1874, Ako merchants started delivering it to the government and Imperial Family that led to win huge popularity in Japan and overseas. However, its popularity fell into decline after the Showa period because its weaving process was difficult to automate.

In 1993, Ako City Board of Education organized the dantsu workshop in order to save this precious traditional handicraft in danger of extinction. Later in 1999, numerous participants who joined this workshop established "The Preservation Association of Ako dantsu". This association called several workshops to promote Ako dantsu through activities.
Thanks to their effort, Ako citizens could recover the local industry which they started from activities to preserve the traditional craftwork.

◆Exhibition / Showcase
Kariya Workshop
2073-4, Kariya, Ako-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
TEL: 0791-45-0606
Open: 10:00 am-12:30 pm/ 14:00-16:00 pm
Closed: Second and forth Sundays, National holidays, the year-end and New Year holidays
*Reservation required for the tour (paid) two days prior to the date.

Nakahiro Workshop
1116-2, Nakahiro, Ako-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
TEL: 0791-43-9134
Open: 10:00-12:00/13:00-16:00
*Reservation required for the tour.

Hana Workshop
145-1, Motooki-cho, Ako-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
TEL: 090-6965-9162

◆Event Information
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