We weave with song

Sea and sky
The skin of plants
The breath of animals
The smell of the earth

On Amami-Oshima Island
there is a kimono
that seems to have the natural climate itself
woven into the fabric

The islanders have
long put their hearts and souls into this work,
dedicated to the point of obsession
as they weave with their bodies and songs



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We believe that Oshima Tsumugi is a work of art.

We plan and produce this wonderful Oshima Tsumugi, and carefully store both historical masterpieces and new works until we hand them over to customers who understand their value.
As such, we decided that calling this place a “museum” was the only choice we had.

Some of you may think that it is an overstatement.
However, the word “art museum” is the embodiment of our long-held dreams.
In other words, it shows the determination we have to create wonderful Oshima Tsumugi that resembles works of art.

Katsuyo Higo, Representative Director

About Oshima Tsumugi

Oshima Tsumugi refers to silk fabric produced mainly on Amami-Oshima Island, and to kimonos made from the fabric. The process of yarn-dyeing, shaping, and weaving of twisted silk yarns is all done by hand by craftsmen. The silk fabric is characterized by its unique plant-derived colors and dyed patterns. It is lightweight and can be worn in any season or setting, so it has long been popular as both ceremonial dress and everyday wear.
The process involves numerous steps that include designing, gluing, kasuri fastening, Yeddo hawthorn dyeing, and mud dyeing. Depending on how you count it, there are said to be more than 100 steps involved in this dizzyingly detailed work. Dozens of craftsmen are involved in the processes required to create each piece of cloth.

  • >Shimebata
    ● Shimebata

    Oshima Tsumugi has two weaving processes, the first of which is done with a loom called a “shimebata”. In this step, colored and uncolored yarns are woven according to the design, and cotton threads for the weft and warp of the fabrics are woven in to create what is called “kasuri mushiro”.

  • Mud Dyeing
    ● Mud Dyeing

    After dyeing the fabric brown with fermented extract from the Yeddo hawthorn bush, the fabric is soaked in a mud field, rinsed, and dried, a process that is repeated over and over again. The natural chemical reaction that occurs between the Yeddo hawthorn and the iron content of the mud field dyes the silk threads black, producing a natural black color.

  • Raw materials for dyeing
    ● Dyeing Materials

    In addition to the Yeddo hawthorn bush that grows naturally on Amami-Oshima Island, sago palm leaves are essential for the muddy fields as raw materials. Adding the sago palm leaves replenishes the iron content of the mud field, creating a suitable environment for the dyeing process. Sago palm is also cherished as a traditional pattern for silk pongee.

  • Kasuri
    ● Kasuri

    After the kasuri mushiro have been woven on the shimebata and dyed with mud, they are unraveled so that only the warp and weft kasuri yarns remain. These are then woven together according to the design to create the intricate patterns and unique texture that Oshima Tsumugi is known for.

Oshima Tsumugi


For inquiries about studio tours, exhibitions, museums, interviews, employment, etc.,
please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail.