Japanese textile history in Santa Clara - Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

Here are images of fabric Japanese Boy's Day carp. These belong to my son.  In Japanese agricultural settlements in California and Hawaii these sock kites were a familiar sight in early February. They would hang from long bamboo poles in celebration of the sons in a family. In Japanese culture carp represent strength and tenacity.  I enjoy the bold abstracted scale patterns on these and chose to post a close up detail image as I think this pattern might be one to revisit later in the design stage of a digital textiles.

The very first berry basket making company in Santa Clara was  owned and operated by the family of Kamejiro Shimizu. The company was called Wayne Basket Company. This is interesting to note as Chinese and Japanese were banned from the canning industry due to the anti Asian social and political climate.  Canning companies  often advertised that all fruit was packed by only white men and women.  The hostility stretched from the late 1800's to WII when Santa Clara Japanese Americans were removed to Tanforan and then to internment camps. The City of Sunnyvale voted to urge Congress to permanently exclude Japanese from California in 1944. This was rescinded in 2001.

This woven experiment of mine  reflects on traditional Japanese weaving techniques. It blends the forms of hats and containers.  I used a rice bowl as the shaping form of the tightly woven areas.

In one of my digital textiles I hope to reinterpret basket weaving patterns in Japanese textiles to reflect upon and honor this first berry basket company of Santa Clara and the legacy of Kamijiro Shimizu.

Detail of weaving experiment
7/17/2012 11:01:19 pm

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