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[Kurashiki Canvas and Rush Grass]

Canvas is a plain weave fabric made from cotton, linen, hemp, etc. Currently, about 70% of Japanese canvas is manufactured in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture.

The entire plain area of Kurashiki City, which used to be the sea until 400 years ago, was reclaimed as land during the Edo period (1603-1868). Because the area was originally an ocean, the soil was salty, which led to the cultivation of cotton and rush grass, both of which are resistant to salt. The combination of a mild climate, abundant water sources, and yarn-twisting techniques led to the production of canvas and rush grass in Kurashiki City.

The fabric of canvas is characterized by being thick, very strong, and breathable. Because of its strength, it was once used to make the "sails" of ships. Because of its sturdiness to withstand strong sea winds, it has been useful in people's daily lives since ancient times. The initial feel of the material is rough and hard, but as it is used, it becomes softer and more comfortable, and the more it is used, the deeper its flavor develops.

Messenger bags are increasingly seen in bicycle culture in the city. They are also popular as a fashion item. Generally, messenger bags are carried on the left shoulder. It is like carrying a messenger bag with your right arm through the shoulder. The weight of the luggage is reduced and felt when the bag is worn so closely that it may be too tight.

At our Ginza Showroom, we are currently displaying a messenger bag made of Kurashiki canvas 6SHiki, and a "ikago" made of woven rush grass from Sunami Toru Shoten. Visitors can see at the same time the tradition of cotton and rush grass that has been nurtured in the history of Kurashiki. The back of the messenger bag has a pocket with a zipper for easy access while carrying it on your back. This pocket is convenient for carrying the bag on your back when running, and sliding it forward when waiting at a traffic light to take out what is inside. The ikago has a nostalgic aroma, as if it has just been reupholstered with tatami mats. It is one of the old and new creations that were created after encountering "mingei" (folk craft) and further refining the techniques and techniques inherited from his grandmother, as well as refining the design.

6SHiKi's Messenger Bag
https://www.shokunin.com/en/6shiki/messenger.html
Sunami Toru Shoten's Ikago
https://www.shokunin.com/en/sunami/ikago.html
Ginza Showroom
https://www.shokunin.com/en/showroom/ginza.html

References
https://www.city.kurashiki.okayama.jp/30993.htm
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%80%89%E6%95%B7%E5%B8%86%E5%B8%83
https://crea.bunshun.jp/articles/-/31034