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美術織物の沿革

日本民族のもつすぐれた美意識は、わが国固有の文化を生み育てたばかりでなく、時代の要求と共に滔々と流れ込んだ東西の諸文化を、吸収し、消化し、巧みに自己の中に織り込んで、独特の民族文化を形成しました。わが国の織物文化は、奈良時代に仏教と共に導入された、世界国家的スケールをもつ隋・唐の文化により、一挙に高度化し、 遂に織物を美術工芸の域にまで到達させました。

その後、平安遷都に従って京都に移ることとなった染織産業は、西陣に定着し、時の最高技術者秦氏を中心とする産業組織が形成され、次第にその周辺にも自由な民間の織物業者たちの輪が拡がり、西陣を日本の織物の中心としたの です。

弊社は、こうした由緒ある西陣の宮廷織物所の一つと して、古くは宮中、諸大名のご用命を承り、近くは宮内庁御用達として、天皇、皇后、皇太子、皇太子妃の各御旗をはじめ、御大典調度品、伊勢神宮式年遷宮用裂地などの製織にご奉仕する栄誉を賜っています。

創業以来、室内装飾織物の専門メーカーとして、緞帳、緞通などの美術織物の創作に伝統の火を燃やし続ける 一方、また新しい技術への挑戦に怠りない弊社は、外国からの技術、機械を導入して、各種カーペット、椅子張地、カーテン地、壁装地など、次第に事業内容を拡げ、戦前既に、紡毛から染色、製織、仕上げに至る迄一貫工程をもつ、 名実共に室内装飾織物のトップメーカーとなりました。

戦後は需要の急速な伸びにより、益々その業績を拡大し、カーペット類はベルギー、イタリア、イギリスを凌いで、 アメリカなどに大量輸出を行うまでに発展しました。

最近では、生活の質的向上をめざす社会のニーズに 対応して、特に美術織物の創作に力を注ぎ、43年に完成した新宮殿には当社の技術を結集して、豊明殿の手織緞通、正殿の壁張地をはじめ新宮殿を飾る大部分の織物を製作したほか、衆参両院、首相官邸など我が国を代表する格式高い建造物の内装に伝統織物の真髄を披歴しております。

History of Artistic Textiles

The Japanese people, with their excellent artistic talent, have formed an original culture not only by developing indigenous cultural elements, but by deftly assimilating many foreign cultural elements, originating both in the West and the East, which streamed into their country in different ages. The techniques of dyeing and weaving also made great progress in Japan in the Nara era (710-784) under the influence of Chinese culture in the Sui and T'ang periods, during which China expanded into a world power. Thus, Japanese textiles reached a high artistic standard in this era, during which Buddhism was also introduced to Japan.

After the designation of Kyoto as Japan's new capital, craftsmen specializing in dying and weaving settled in the Nishijin district of the city to serve the Emperor's court. They formed a well-organized community led by members of the House of Hata, who possessed the then unrivaled expertise in this field. The community gradually expanded by absorbing commercial textile manufacturers, making Nishijin the center of textile industry in Japan.

The ancestor of our company is a textile factory in Nishijin founded by the Emperor's court, which served noblemen and feudal lords. Thanks to its distinguished tradition, our company has been enjoying the honor of being designated as supplier to the Imperial Household Agency. In this capacity, we have manufactured banners for Emperors, Empresses, Princes Imperial and Crown Princesses, as well as requisites for Imperial ceremonies and cloths for the reconstruction of Ise Shrine.

Since its founding, our company, as a manufacturer of textiles for interior decoration, has been producing drop curtains, hand-woven carpets and other artistic textiles, in which our precious heritage is fully utilized. As well, we have been constantly exploring new technical fields, introducing techniques and machinery from overseas. As a result, the range of our products has expanded to include various carpets, and cloths for chairs, curtains and walls. Before World War II, our company established its status as leading manufacturer of textiles for interior decoration, both in name and reality, with a comprehensive production system comprising woollen spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing.

After World War II, our company further expanded its business, thanks to the rapid growth in demand for its products. As a result, it now exports a large quantity of carpets to the U.S. and other countries, surpassing manufacturers in Belgium, Italy and Britain in the volume of exports.

Recently, our company is devoting much of its efforts to the production of artistic textiles, in response to the social trends toward the improvement of the quality of life. During the construction of the new Emperor's Palace, which was completed in 1968, we brought our technical expertise into full play to manufacture most of the textiles decorating the Palace, including the handwoven carpet in the Homeiden Building and the wall cloth in the Seiden Building. As well, our company has produced excellent traditional textiles, which decorate the interiors of the House of Representative, the House of Councilors, the official residence of the prime minister and other stately buildings in Japan.

We are making constant efforts to open new artistic dimensions of textile, while proudly keeping old Japanese tradition alive.