Who is Motoju Miyosawa? & What is KATAEZOME?


Motoju Miyosawa was a Japanese stencil dyeing “KATAEZOME” artist, which is a technique of using stencils “KATAGAMI” to dye the original patterns/designs on cloth materials or Japanese paper. He was born in Matsumoto in 1909 and met with lifelong mentor Keisuke Serizawa in Shizuoka, who was designated by the government of Japan as “Living National Treasure” for his stencil dyeing art “KATAEZOME”. Miyosawa was astonished by his simple but dignified & elegant designs which made him explore unique/creative techniques and challenge new materials based on what he learned from Serizawa. His design works covered wide range of applications such as book cover illustrations, newspaper/magazine illustrations, hanging scrolls, folding/hanging screens, curtains and many more folk arts.


Miyosawa also met with Muneyoshi Yanagi in Shizuoka, who was a father of folk art “MINGEI” movement in Japan and Miyosawa became a leading member of MINGEI movement in Matsumoto & establishing NAGANO MINGEI association.


Brief steps of KATAEZOME :

1.)     Design stencil & put over paper or cloth

2.)     Spread a dye resistant starch paste over the stencil (areas un-covered by stencil will be covered by paste)

3.)     Mainly traditional vegetable dyes but chemical ones are dipped or brushed over paper or cloth for coloring

4.)     Key designs with different stencil can be used for main design after the colors have been dried

5.)     The paste is washed off and the paper or cloth to be dried under the sun

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