The beauty of handmade flaws

“I believe the beauty ultimately lies within the 'flaws' of this fully handmade craft. Depending on my strength in each stroke, or even humidity of the room, images might be similar but never the same when done by hand. Regardless of whether the result is good or bad, the craft is always original. And that’s something machines cannot replicate.”

“We were originally going to close the shop when my father passed away around 15 years ago, but I remember him saying it would be intolerable to see this traditional craft disappear. So, I became the fifth-generation successor of our shop that has been around for more than 130 years. We are now the only workshop in Kochi that still makes Tosadako (traditional kites) and I intend to see it through for as long as I can.”

“My ultimate motivation is the desire to offer a piece of art that brings joy to others. That’s been my goal ever since the beginning.”

Takeshi Yoshikawa is the fifth and last-generation successor of Yoshikawa Somemonoten shop, which uses traditional dyeing techniques to make noren (curtain-like dividers), tapestries of varying sizes for interior decor, large flags, and Tosadako kites. As he briefly mentions, the level of humidity can indeed change the final product because it affects the speed at which the dyes dry and pigments show. This craft requires immense attention from start to finish

You can order online from a variety of designs including a brave warrior, crane (symbol of good fortune), zodiac signs, and more. But whatever aesthetic you choose, they are all handmade by Takeshi himself as he pours his over 30 years of pure dedication into every stroke

If you’re looking for a beautiful gift for someone or wishing to add a stylish yet cozy Japanese-style decor in your home, please consider supporting Takeshi and his one-of-a-kind masterpieces

Thank you to Takeshi for letting us share his beautiful photos and story!

Yoshikawa Somemonoten official website: https://www.yoshikawa-somemonoten.com/

Just 10 minutes by foot from Takeshi's workshop in Kami City is Ekin Museum where you'll find dynamic artworks by a beloved Kochi-born painter from the 19th-century! It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/see-and-do/10017
  • The beauty of handmade flaws

  • The beauty of handmade flaws

  • The beauty of handmade flaws