2021-11-18・19

外務省
外交団地域視察ツアー

祭り展示館 花輪ばやし
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2021年11月18日・19日 地方視察のためのツアー受け入れを行いました。
13カ国14名の外国人の方々に鹿角を楽しんでいただきました。

茜染体験

Kazuno Akane Plant Dyeing (Traditional Plant Dye) and Matcha experience

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茜染体験
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鹿角紫根染・茜染について

2021.11.19 鹿角紫根染・茜染研究会

 古代鹿角紫根染・茜染は、遠く王朝の香気がしのばれるという崇高優美な草木染です。十和田湖と八幡平の間に位置する鹿角地方には、その昔、山野に自生するムラサキやアカネが豊富だったことから、1300年前の奈良時代からその根を使って染める紫根染や茜染の技法が伝承されてきたと言われています。

 江戸時代には、盛岡藩の手厚い保護を受けて産業として発展し、鹿角特産の紫根染・茜染は全国に名を知られるまでになり、製品は、朝廷や将軍家への献上品として江戸へ送られていました。

 かつて盛岡から鹿角へ通ずる鹿角街道は「むらさき街道」と呼ばれ、鹿角の紫根染は、南部紫として京紫や江戸紫と並んで日本の三大紫の一つとされ、その中でも特に、鹿角の色が鮮やかで全国に比類ない染め物と言われていました。

 ところが明治維新後、藩の保護の消失と化学染料の普及により鹿角の紫根染・茜染は衰退してしまいます。それを大正初め頃に、栗山文次郎氏が復興させ、原料の入手難や長期におよぶ生産期間などの困難をかかえながらも、伝統ある染め技術の伝承に力を注いだ息子の栗山文一郎氏によって鹿角紫根染・茜染が守り伝えられていました。

 栗山家で染めた古代鹿角紫根染・茜染は、「神の坐(いま)す布」と称えられ、時が経つごとに鮮やかさが増すと言われました。文次郎氏が染めた布は伊勢神宮へ上納されたり、皇室へも献上されたりしました。大正時代に文次郎氏が染めた布は、今も色あせることなく鮮やかで見る人の目を惹きつけます。

 「朝(あした)は紫、夕べは茜」と言われた古代鹿角紫根染・茜染は、紫色は朝の光の中でいちだんと冴えわたり、茜色は夕方の光の中で燃えるようにその美しさを放つという優雅な草木染めです。しかし、残念ながら平成3年に栗山文一郎氏が亡くなり、長い間途絶えたままになっていました。

 鹿角が誇る伝統の紫根染・茜染を後世に伝えようと活動を続ける鹿角紫根染・茜染研究会が、今年3月、10年の年月をかけようやく再現させることができました。研究会員は現在76名。技術交流を図り研鑽に励み、郷土の伝統文化を伝える継承活動を進めています。体験を通して鹿角の文化遺産に親しんでもらうことや学校と連携し、次世代を担う子どもたちに郷土の素晴らしさを伝える活動を積極的に行っています。

 栗山家の鹿角紫根染・茜染の古代技法は、サワフタギの木灰汁に浸しては天日で乾かす下染作業を120回以上も繰り返します。その後1年間、タンスや桐の箱に入れて寝かして布を枯らし、翌年、絞りを施して染めます。ムラサキと茜の根を石臼で搗いて作った染液で本染を12回繰り返します。染め上がった布は、色を落ち着かせるために、また2?3年寝かせます。1反完成させるまでに3年から5年以上もかかるという難儀な手仕事です。このようにして「神の坐す布」が生み出されるのです。

 鹿角紫根染・茜染研究会では、多くの方々の応援を頂いて栽培の日本ムラサキと自生の日本茜を染料にし栗山家の古代技法を忠実に再現、秋田市と鹿角市で復活展示会を開催することができました。

☆伝統の絞り模様

 鹿角に伝わる伝統の絞り模様は、大枡絞り、小枡絞り、立枠絞り、花輪絞りの4種類です。下染め回数が多く、布が固くなり作業が難儀なことから大柄のものが多く、染めの色を生かすための絞り模様であるとも言われています。

☆野山から姿を消した日本ムラサキ

 かつて、鹿角盆地にはムラサキが豊かに自生し、江戸時代の書に、極上品なるは、南部領より出る野生紫根なりとあり、領内物産記録にも、「ムラサキの根は所々に産するも、紫染めは鹿角郡を上品とす」と記されています。  大正天皇の即位礼の時に鹿角の紫根染が天皇陛下の刀の緒に使われています。

 しかし、今は野山で日本ムラサキを見つけることができず、絶滅危惧種に指定されています。栽培も難しいとされる日本ムラサキですが、鹿角紫根染・茜染研究会では、その栽培に取り組み日本ムラサキの里づくりを目指しています。

◇鹿角紫根染・茜染や研究会の活動の様子は、ホームページやフェイスブックの鹿角紫根染・茜染研究会で検索できます。

Diplomat’s Study Tour to Kazuno

Introduction: Kazuno Shikon (Purple Root) Dyeing and Akane (Native Japanese madder) Dyeing (by Kazuno Shikon and Akane Dyeing Study Group)

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Ancient Kazuno Shikon (Purple Root) dyeing and Akane (Native Japanese madder) dyeing represent Japan’s graceful plant dyeing which has inherited the elegance of court in old times. The Kazuno area, being located between Lake Towada and the mountains of the Hachimantai, used to have an abundance of wild Murasaki (a kind of plant, its root has purple pigment) and Akane (Japanese Native madder, its root has red pigment.) The techniques of dyeing textiles with these plant roots had been passed down in the area since the Nara Period, about 1,300 years ago.
In the Edo period (1603-1868), the Shikon dyeing and Akane dyeing received a careful protection of the Morioka domain and developed into a major industry. The plant dyeing, the specialty of Kazuno, became famous all over the country and its products were delivered to Edo, then Japan’s capital, to be used as special gifts to the Imperial Court and the Tokugawa Shogunate.
In the past, the road connecting Morioka and Kazuno was called “Murasaki Kaido (Purple Road).”
Kazuno Shikon dyeing was also known as Nambu Purple and regarded as one of Japan’s best three purple dyeing techniques along with those of Kyoto and Edo. Among the three, Kazuno’s purple was renowned for its beauty and said to be unparalleled in Japan.
Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, however, Kazuno Shikon dyeing and Akane dyeing declined because of the loss of the Morioka domain’s protection and the spread of chemical dyes.
Early in the Taisho period (1912-1926), Bunjiro Kuriyama, who was designated as a Living National Treasure, succeeded in reviving the techniques. His son Bunichiro inherited the techniques from his father and focused on transmitting the traditional skills to next generations, though he struggled with the difficulty of obtaining plant dyes and a lengthy production period.
The textiles dyed by the Kuriyama family were acclaimed as “Kami-no-imasu-nuno,” or “the cloth in which gods and spirits reside” and praised as their colors turned more vivid with the passage of time. Bunjiro’s works were presented to Ise Grand Shrine and the Imperial Family. The cloths dyed by Bunjiro during the Taisho period remain brilliant even today and attract people’s attentions.
There is a phrase to applaud the beauty of Kazuno’s ancient Shikon and Akane dyeing: “Ashita wa Murasaki, yube wa Akane.” That means its purple color looks brighter in the morning light while the color of Akane appears like a burning flame in the sunset. Unfortunately, the techniques had been lost since the demise of Bunichiro in 1991.
We launched a study group to hand down the techniques of the traditional Shikon dyeing and Akane dyeing to future generations. In March this year, we finally achieved the revival of the skills after our decade-long attempt. Our group is currently composed of 76 members. We are exchanging skills to develop ourselves and promoting activities to transmit our region’s traditional culture. We hold events to experience Kazuno’s cultural heritages and cooperate with schools to help children discover the region’s attractiveness.
In the Kuriyama Family’s ancient Shikon dyeing and Akane dyeing techniques, at first, textiles are soaked in ash juice extracted from the wood called Nishikoori (Sawafutagi), which works as a mordant, and dried in the sunshine. The process of bottoming is repeated for 120 times. Then, those fabrics are kept in drawers and paulownia boxes to be withered for one year. In the following year, the main dyeing process begins after cloths are prepared for tie-dyeing. Fabrics are put into coloring solutions extracted from Murasaki (Purple) roots and Akane (madder) roots for 12 times. A stone mill is used to grind these roots. Colored fabrics are stored for 2-3 years to get dyeing fixed. It takes a painstaking manual work of 3-5 years to complete a roll of dyed textiles . This is how “the cloth in which gods and spirits reside” is crafted.
Thanks to cooperation of many people, our group obtained cultivated Murasaki and wild Akane and used them to faithfully revive the Kuriyama family’s antique dyeing techniques. We held exhibitions of these works in Akita City and Kazuno City.

Traditional Tie-Dyeing Patters
The traditional patterns of tie-dyeing inherited in the Kazuno region include large basins, small basins, standing frames and wreath squeezes. The process of repeated soaking in ash juice stiffens fabrics and makes it difficult to tie-dye them. As a result, Kazuno plant dyeing tends to adapt large patterns, which enable products to exude the elegance of their colors.

Wild Murasaki Disappears
There used to be a lot of wild Murasaki in the Kazuno Basin. A document written in the Edo period said the best-quality Murasaki roots were those which grew naturally in the fields and mountains in the Nambu territory, which included the Kazuno region. A record of territory’s local products said high-quality Murasaki dyeing was found in the Kazuno region, even though the plant’s roots were obtained in many other places as well.
Kazuno Murasaki dyeing was used for the cord attached to the sword that the Emperor Taisho held in his enthronement ceremony. However, today, it is difficult to find Japanese Native Murasaki in the fields and mountains. The plant is designated as an endangered species. Though it is difficult to cultivate Japanese Native Murasaki, our study group is trying to raise the plant and open a village with rich harvest of it.
You can look up our study group’s activities on our web-site and Facebook.

鹿角紫根染・茜染研究会webサイト:http://kazuno-murasaki.net/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/kazuno.murasaki