Saturday, 7 December 2013

Kogin 2 - The Pride of Hirosaki

Kogin embroidery is something that the city of Hirosaki and Aomori prefecture is very proud of.

Near Hirosaki station the tiles of the pedestrian area and bus terminal have been laid out in Kogin patterns. See the view from this hotel.
There is a bridge in another area of the city decorated with Kogin pattern.

However, the first view of 'real' Kogin embroidery I got on my visit was at the 'onsen' inn I stayed at. 'Onsen' is the Japanese name for a mineral hot spring. As there are so many volcanos in Japan the number of 'onsens' is great. Almost everywhere you go there will be a hot spa in the neighbourhood. Aomori has its fair share.

Around a spring there usually are a number of public bath houses, inns and hotels. Unlike Western 'spas' these are not usually health farms with fitness plans, thermal treatments or doctors. Instead you go there to relax, be spoiled with service and enjoy eating local delicacies.
I stayed at Fujiya Hotel.

Like all other hotels and inns Fujiya had a hotel shop. They sold souvenirs, locally produced sweets and pickles, and handicraft.
Here was my first glimpse of Kogin embellished items, made in Aomori:
I wanted to see more and older things so the next day I went 'Kogin hunting'.

18 comments:

  1. some lovely patterns on the link Queenie, they should inspire you so will watch this blog to see what your do....no pressure.
    The purses remind me of what I call pattern darning, very nice.
    Will we be seeing what you find on your Kogin hunt, hopefully it was sucessful

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  2. Thank you for putting no pressure on me!!!!
    Kogin IS a form of pattern darning, but here it is worked on very easy to stitch fabric - soft and with holes that are easy to see.

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  3. Nice patterns. I thought It was pattern darning.

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    Replies
    1. In my next post I'll talk about the history and background of this 'pattern darning.

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  4. Very decorative! Would like to visit such a spa! Looking forward to the results of Kogin hunting.

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    1. I am sure you would enjoy it. Sleeping on the soft straw matted floor, eating 14 tiny portions of Japanese delicacies, soaking in the warm (or hot) mineral water, especially in the open air pool at night while gazing at the stars, walking around in a yukata (cotton kimono)....

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  5. Thank you for sharing this interesting technique!

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    Replies
    1. More on technique and history in future blog posts.

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  6. The pieces are really lovely. Are you going to try a bit of that next?

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    Replies
    1. Once Christmas preparations are completed I will thread the needle.

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  7. Replies
    1. Similar patterns seem to be all over the world, which proves it is a small world!

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  8. Nice patterns around the hotel!

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    Replies
    1. I was so happy to see that EMBROIDERY has been taken seriously by city officials and road planners!

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  9. That looks to have been stitched on a fabric with a low thread count. What is it?

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  10. Beautiful technique, it is like needlepoint patterns.

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    Replies
    1. There are many kinds of similar embroidery in the world. Kogin has an interestig history, that I will talk about in another blog post.

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