Original Brands

We at Okayama Kougei hope that our own original kimono brands will someday be widely used all across Japan.

We introduce our own brand goods.

“Takeko’s YUME (Dream) Kimono”

The dreamlike kimonos created by Takeko Okayama are original in their use of soft tinted colors.

As a female artist, Okayama is developing kimonos that will make the women wearing them look beautiful. Her masterpieces lare “Weeping Cherry Blossoms” and “Takeko Gradation.”

By actively spreading her work in the Paris Collection and other fashion scenes around the world, Okayama has made “Takeko’s YUME (Dream) Kimono” the representative brand of Okayama Kougei.

Takeko Okayama’s Personal History

1943 – Takeko was born in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. She later moved to Kyoto due to a love for Kiyomizu pottery houses.

1958 -Joined the porcelain painting department at Ozawa Studio on Higayshima Gojo hill, where she worked painting on pottery.

1964 – Began independently studying dyeing and weaving due to a new fascination with the Kyoto Yuzen style.

1982 – Joined the Kyoto Yuzen convention and received an award for her work.

March 1994 – Was designated as a Master of Traditional Arts and Paris Collection crafts by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, making her the first woman in Japan to receive the honor. Together with fellow master and husband Kozo Okayama, they became the first couple to have master titles.

March 1997 – Takeko’s YUME Kimono appeared in France’s “Paris Collection” thus gaining popularity.

August 2000 – Takeko selected to be the artist for the 400th anniversary project commemorating relations between Japan and Holland, and opened a kimono exhibit in Middleburg, Holland.

2002 – At the request of the city of Kyoto, Takeko made a kimono under the theme of “World Water Forum.”

February 2003 – Appeared in the Kyoto Yuzen Association’s competition, and received an award for her work.

November 2006 – Recognized by the City of Kyoto as a superior craftsperson of traditional arts and crafts, and received the title of a Kyoto and Yuzen Master Craftsperson.

Takeko has been training for more than 50 years, overcoming numerous hardships along the way. Even while training her many apprentices, she has created her own original brand, whose soft colors have made it popular around the world.

“Yuragi”

Inspired by “1/f fluctuation,” we created our Yuragi kimonos whose flowing designs, colors and prints can ease the minds of its viewers.

We seek to lead the rest of the industry with our cohesion of superior materials and unique patterns. For that reason, Yuragi kimonos are based on the idea that the pattern and dyes are chosen based on how well they go with the actual material.

Yuragi kimonos are a brand that anyone can enjoy, whether they are komono beginners or long-time kimono lovers.

“Kibiso”

Kibiso silk is the very first strand of thread spun out by a silk worm, which then goes into the initial layer of a cocoon.

Since Sericin ― a water soluble protein that is good for retaining moisture and absorbing UV rays―is abundant in Kibiso thread, Kibiso silk is commonly used in skin care. Using this kibiso silk and working alongside its producers in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, we have created a new, natural and ecological fabric.

Through the “Hinoki-some” dyeing process ― in which we use the extracts from a cypress tree to create the preparatory dye― we can capitalize on the peculiarities and strong points of both the Roketsu – outlining the design with wax to protect from the dyeing process – and gradation dyeing processes as well as emphasizing the unique qualities of the raw materials.

The “Hinoki” Dyeing Method

The dye used in this process is made using extracts taken from Hinoki cypress trees. This dye is then repeatedly painted onto the fabric, creating vivid colors and a gentle texture. We developed this technique out of a desire to create the calming feel of being within a forest.

We have patented this technique as “Honhinoki” with the Japan Patent Office.

The “Gancha” Dyeing Method

Gancha tea is a type of oolong native to the Wuyi Mountains in China. Our Gancha Dyeing method uses extracts from gancha tea to color the fabric repeatedly, similar to the “Hinoki” method. As with the Hinoki method, this coloring technique is also patented after the plant from which the dye is derived: the “Gancha” Dyeing method.

The gancha extract changes color based on the type of mordant (a substance used to set dyes on fabrics), making each (layer of) coloring distinct.