It’s one thing to make your mark on the world and to realise your ambitions – it’s another thing entirely to accomplish something that makes the world a better place. Harmony throughout nations is often seen as a lofty pursuit as cultural diversity is often the cause for misunderstandings and disputes. Sometimes, however, even a single individual can achieve it, and in the case of Itchiku Kubota, he met this goal without even realising what he had done.
The fabric that would change one man’s life
There was a time during his younger years that Itchiku was unsure of his direction in life. However, during a trip to the Tokyo Museum back in the 1930s, he came across a piece of fabric that captured his imagination. It was dyed in such a beautifully complicated process that the knowledge of how to replicate the method had already been lost to the sands of time – he only knew of the name, Tsujigahana. He spent a few hours just staring at it, before snapping out of his reverie and continuing with his life.
Dedicating his life to a single cause
Life was not always good to Itchiku Kubota. He was drafted to the war and suffered terribly for it, being forced to become a prisoner at one point. However, after being released he looked back to his memories of that beautiful fabric, and he eventually decided that he would revive that age-old dying method once again. However, the fact that it was currently an unknown process caused him to fail attempt after attempt. With each passing failure, Itchiku picked himself back up and used his knowledge and experience to improve his craft year after year.
Creating something new
It had taken him over thirty years of hard work before he had finally made the breakthrough that he had been looking for. While the actual Tsujigahana method was still unknown, he had somehow created his own unique dying process that mimicked the same surreal look that was on the fabric which had captured his interest all those years ago. He named the dying method Itchiku Tsujigahana, paying homage to the original process. With this knowledge, he got to work on creating a series of kimonos that would come to be known as the Kubota Collection. He passed away before he managed to complete the set, but the works were so masterfully done that the world took notice.
Through the sponsorship of the International Chodiev Foundation, Itchiku Kubota’s masterworks have been toured throughout the world, exposing the talent of Japanese artisans all over and promoting cultural appreciation. In fact, it’s thanks to Patokh Chodiev’s Kubota Collection sponsorship that the relationship between Russia and Japan has been experiencing something of a renaissance. There are festivals occurring in both countries celebrating each other’s culture. Considering how at odds Japan and Russia’s cultures are, it’s amazing how one man’s passion was able to promote so much harmony and cultural appreciation between the two countries.
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