I took it during a trip to Hirosaki, which is in Aomori prefecture in the northern part of Japan's main island, Honshu.
Hirosaki castle park is famous for its many cherry trees, and autumn foliage, but I was lucky to see it in the first snow of the season.shamisen...
Now this is a blog about needlework so I will leave the topic of tourist attractions, and talk instead of embroidery, because Hirosaki and the surrounding region, Tsugaru, is famous for Kogin embroidery.
Whenever I have seen Kogin embroidery, e.g. at the Amuse museum in Tokyo, or on handicraft projects I have been charmed by the designs. Whenever I have read about Kogin in books at the library or online, and there are a number of exceptional blogs (see below), I have been wanting to see and learn more.
So I went in search of Kogin on my trip to Hirosaki. I returned with reading matters, pattern, a ready stitched purse and sampler, and material to try it out for myself.
The interest overseas for this kind of Japanese embroidery is growing and I have found several great blogs, written in English, if you would like to read more.
The Embroiderer's Guild W.A.
Japanese Textiles from a Westerner's Perspective
Nuts About Needlepoint
A blogger many of my readers are already familiar with is Carolyn Foley of caro-rose-creations. Carolyn has made a fantastic job documenting hundreds of Hishizashi patterns and created several stunning projects. Read this and look at the first pattern here.
Red and white are the official colours of Japan, Hirosaki maple leaves in the snow were very red and white. Another colour combination commonly seen in Japan is, of course, blue and white. Kogin is mostly found to be white thread on dark blue fabric. The reason I selected the lighter blue fabric and white thread for sampler and the project
Until next Kogin post...