Special Exhibition

Past Exhibition

Silk Crepe Handiworks

January 23, Tuesday, - April 8, Sunday, 2018

Chirimen or crepe is a delicate and fine silk fabric with a “bumpy texture”, which has been loved since the Edo Period (1603-1868) to today as a material for kimono in Japan. Pieces which were made from left over crepe fabric are today known as “Chirimen-zaiku crepe work”. Shigeyoshi Inoue, Director of the Japan Toy Museum, was the first to refer to this fine needlework as “Chirimen-zaiku”, and since naming it such in 1986, this name has become established nationwide through exhibitions and publications.

In the latter half of the Edo Period, women in the wealthy households such as Imperial Household Maids, Samurai families and Merchants etc. began sewing left over crepe fabrics into beautiful pouches and small decorative boxes. In this way, the valuing of small amounts of fabrics, aesthetic sense, and crafts which taught hand dexterity became a part of the cultural refinement of Japanese women. From the Meiji Period (1868-1912), crepe work became a subject for girls at school, and girls competed to develop interesting designs, referring to sewing specialty books. Crepe was formed into pouches with flowers or animals for holding fragrances and plectrums for playing the koto, pouches formed into toys or dolls as lucky charms for children, and the custom of using crepe pouches as part of bridal dowries was also observed in the Chubu and Tokai regions (central Japan).

This exhibition, held under the auspice of Tobacco & Salt Museum and Japan Toy Museum consists of two sections, the first section being a collection of old works from the 17th century to the first half of the 20th century, which will introduce the history and culture of crepe work. The second section will exhibit Heisei crepe work by season and type, showing its revival today through the reconstruction work of the Japan Toy Museum. You will also be able to view “hanging decorations” and small “decorated umbrellas” which demonstrate the enjoyment of crepe work and the pleasure of giving.

[General admission fees]

General(Adults and university students)
Group(20 or more):150yen

Children and pupils of primary, juniorhigh, and high schools
Group(20 or more):50yen

Visitors over 65 years old ※Please show proof of age when entering.
Group(20 or more):100yen

※ With age certificate, visitors over 65 years old are admitted for half price.
※ With disability certificate, free admission for disabled persons and one accompanying attendant.

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    Silk crepe toy handworks hanging from a round frame

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    Balloon shaped silk crepe handwork