Promoting Itchiku Kubota and his art

Itchiku Kubota, (1917-2003) is considered one of the most important Japanese textile artists of the 20th century. He rediscovered a traditional Japanese dyeing technique, called tsujigahana, which allowed him to create an exceptional body of artistic kimono. These kimono are exquisite works of art and are frequently exhibited both in Japan and abroad, where they continue to gather accolades.

Itchiku Kubota saw tsujigahana for the first time when he was 20 years of age and it changed his life. Tsujigahana is a 16th-century Japanese textile decorative technique that incorporates resist-dyeing, brush painting, applied metallic leaf, and embroidery using gold and silver threads. It took the Master thirty years of research to discover all the secrets of this ancient technique. However, he then created his own version of it, incorporating innovative designs and contemporary colours. In recognition of his artistry, the technique he used was given the name Itchiku tsujigahana.

When the collection was on the verge of being sold in 2011 due to a lack of available finance, Dr Patokh Chodiev rescued them and the Itchiku Kubota Museum to preserve them for posterity.  There are 104 Kimono in the collection, which were created by the artist over four decades, and include Kubota’s masterwork – the Symphony of Light, which consists of a continuous panorama over 36 kimono.

Since 2013, The International Chodiev Foundation has organised and sponsored exhibitions of the kimono around the world, bringing their beauty to new audiences.

“I did it as a token of gratitude to Japan for the influence it has had on my life”, commented Dr. Chodiev. “My professional and personal life has long-lasting ties to Japan. I’ve visited this country on numerous occasions, I’ve even worked in this beautiful country and came to appreciate the best qualities of the Japanese people. I love its unique culture and traditions.”