Ashigara embroidery

Kikuaki Ueda Work collection

"Kinu no Mai"

This work collection has been chosen from 40 masterpieces from his long activities(25years) This is the first work collection.

A4・48pages(40 masterpieces)
price:$25.00 (plus shipping cost)

You can buy this in the Hirai bookstore in Odawara City.

kinu no mai buynow
My vegetable garden at home

Ashigara embroidery Kikuaki Ueda 3

━ Why did you think that you wanted to leave embroidery?
That’s the end of the story, before that I started dealing in Kimono and waist bands, I renamed the company Ashigara.
The story started about 40 years earlier. In Japan we had Shinniku(cotton) which was added to a section of embroidery.
One piece of embroidery included 4 or 5 sections which made it solid. I felt I should preserve this style because I had never seen or heard of it outside Japan.
━ When trying to preserve the embroidery, all the processes such as the dyeing of sketches and  thread also had to be preserved,  how was the acquisition of the technology done?
I understood the way of dyeing thread because I used to imitate it at my house.
But as an artist, you shouldn’t just use conventional techniques. It should be more accurate and delicate work.
So I gradually taught myself. It was hard because I also needed to make a living.
━ I think that the decision to live as an embroidery artist without being commercialized was not easy.
From around 1950,the work started decreasing but my wife said " You have good hands so don't give it up! I worked
hard to live on”.
 At that time, money wasn't so necessary for daily things because we had a field and I planted wild grass which I used for motif’s also I planted vegetables.
When there wasn’t any work, I sold Japanese yams wholesale to the market which I dug for in the mountains. Also I sold sweetfish to the fish market which I caught in rivers.
Someone told me that I had time to play but it wasn’t for fun. It was for our living.
I shot birds by air rifle and sold them in the 'yakitori' restaurants too.
It sounds like fun, but it was a very hard life.
━ When your weren’t famous, I think places for exhibiting your work were limited. What kind of activities did you do at that time?
The society of handwork called ‘Odawara craft society’was established in Odawara in 1982.
However it was disassembled after 10 years, instead the Odawara chamber of commerce took over the role.
 I voted at the meetings and for about 10 years I made presentations.
At the time, I named it Ashigara embroidery.
At the beginning, we were going to call it “Odawara” embroidery but my son (at the time he was a university student), my wife and I discussed the name because Odawara city was only one part of the embroidery industry, there were other areas, Ashigarakami District(a prosperous area of the industry), Naka District and Shimo District  so we named it Ashigara embroidery.

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These are the people who supported this Aori project.

[Print cooperation] Bunkado print Co.Ltd. [Transration cooperation] Kidsman English / Yuji Koma,Shane Pole

[Odawara City] KAGOSEI Co.Ltd / Hirai Bookstore Co.Ltd / Takahashi construction Co.Ltd / izumi jewery Shimano / cut salon e-hair / space experiment atelier FACTORY[Minami Ashigara]Pixera Co.Ltd [Kaisei Town]Osakana Shokubou Wahanaza [Manazuru Town] Junksnet [Ninomiya Town]Kojima dental clinic white essence Ninomiya branch [Yokohama City]Medicare.Co.Ltd.