Kyushu is home to many traditional arts and crafts.
What is Hakata Ori?
Techniques imported to Japan from China evolved into the unique Hakata Ori tradition. Hakata Ori uses fine silk thread for the warp and thick silk thread for the weft, making it both durable and beautiful. The samurai used it for their sword sashes; today it can be found in the ornamental aprons of sumo wrestlers. Visit our recommended items.
What is Kenjo Gara?
Kenjo gara is a geometric striped pattern unique to Hakata Ori. The stripes’ different colors and motifs represent Buddhist values and religious paraphernalia. Nagamasa Kuroda, feudal lord of Fukuoka, had such a high opinion of kenjo gara textiles that he made a gift of them to the shogun—hence the name “kenjo,” which means gift. Visit our recommended items.
Hakata Ori Craftspeople
With nearly 800 years of history behind it, Hakata remains very much a living tradition even today. It is still practised by dozens of craftspeople—most of them women—in the heart of Fukuoka. Visit The Kyushu Epicure blog to read their stories.