biography


Akiyo KAJIWARA

Japanese Textile Artist

Instructress of japanese educational creations programs

Foundress of Franco-Japanese Cultural Association Talachiné

 

Akiyo graduated in photography at Nihon university college of art in 1996.

After travelling for several years,she decided to explore the field of textile handwork.

 

She started to learn under Momomaro YAMAZAKI,a great textile artist,specializing in vegetable dyeing and silk kimono weaving using traditional techniques.Although he was economical with language, she learned a great deal on practical level from him. 

 

Then she moved south to Okinawa Island, to undertake formal education, traditional textile methods of dyeing and weaving, including ikat, using silk, cotton and ramie. She was fortunate to study with Okinawan textiles artist Reiko NAGATSU.

 

After that informative experience, she stayed for six months in Iriomote-jima,a southern island of Okinawa, to learn about plant yarn production processes, whilst working on a pineapple farm.Here she had the opportunity to learn under Kimimochi HOSHI,handwork artist who taught the traditional methods of producing Iriomotan handwork articles for daily use including the island history.  

 

She followed her itinerary and the next stop was to the north east of mainland Japan in the region of Fukushima,staying at the small mountain village of Showa-mura.

Showa-mura is a major source of ramie cultivation for use in high quality ramie kimono « jofu », belongs to the nettle family. It is also known as « karamushi » or « choma ».

Here she trained in ramie cultivation and fine yarn production. She also learned under another great master Kayoko IGARASHI who was in her 80's,of whom the life was always with « karamushi ».

 

Settled in Paris since 2008,

 

Fashion is also part of her work and since moving to France, Akiyo has collaborated in creations of Balenciaga,Celine, at the woven textile studio in Paris.

 

In february 2012,Akiyo published her first sewing book « sacs et rangements à la japonaise » with LAROUSSE issue.

It presents 22 japanese styles bags and mini-storages including explications of japanese traditional motifs and culture.

In 1st march 2013, Akiyo published her sewing book « Simple Bags Japanese Style » with Stockpole Books issue in USA. It is translated « sacs et rangements à la japonaise » into English from French.

 

Akiyo was introduced to the Maison de Kiso,located in the Zoological Gardens.This fascinating reconstructed end of Japanese Edo period farm house happened to be equipped with an old loom which had belonged to the ex-landlady of the house and had been used to weave cloths of hemp.With the help of others she repaired the loom and she started demonstrating weaving at events.

 

Then, she present japanese traditinal bamboo reed of loom in France as support for "Japan traditional techniques of bamboo reed production preserve assosiation"

 

Akiyo also organise several cultural projets for introduce japanese culture & handworks in France.

Since 2012, Akiyo organise handmade's creation workshops for children in Paris.

Since 2013, Akiyo regularly organise Nuno-Zori's workshop at several etablishments in Paris; Qartier Japon et Maison de la Culture du Japon in Paris. She promote cultural exchange through discovery of Japanese handmade technique. In Japan, schools teach sewing for girls and boys, which allows them to gain early fundamental techniques by  manual and traditional culture learning. During workshops, it also makes sensitive participants to respect the environment.  

 

In 2014, Akiyo fonded a social, cultural and non-profit association "Talachiné franco-japanese cultural association" in France. Talachiné is a terme from the genre Waka, an ancient Japanese poetiry. It can be categorized as a Makura-Kotoba, a Japanese poetic metaphor. « Talachiné no » means both « mother » and « parents» for nurturing children.

The Talachiné association promotes cultural and educational exchanges between France and Japan, and between every nation. Encouraging a rich cultural experience and pleasure for each participant.