Kyoto Shimbun 2013.6.24 News

Magnificent "Thirty-Six Immortal Poets" Hangings
Urade Yama Float Newly Renovated

Three "Mizuhiki," or decorative tapestries, on the Urade Yama float, based in Karasuma Nishi-iru, Nishikikoji, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, were renovated for the first time in 182 years and shown to concerned parties on June 24 at the Foundation for Gion Festival Preservation Association in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto. The magnificent embroidery designs of "Sanjurokkasen," or thirty-six immortals of poetry, and "Karahana-monyo," or one of Chinese flower patterns, have been revived.

The three Mizuhiki are grand tapestries that decorate three sides of the float, with the front one measuring 69 cm long by 182 cm wide, and the ones for both sides measuring 69 cm long by 249 cm wide. The originals are said to have been made in 1831. They haven't been used in over 20 years due to their noticeable fading and damage. Tatsumura Textile Co., Ltd. in Nakagyo Ward began producing the new hangings in 2007. Production costs were approximately 80 million yen.

In the upper part, the design "Thirty-six Immortal Poets" is embroidered with 65 colors of silk thread on a gold background, depicting some poets from the Nara and Heian Periods, such as Kakinomoto no Hitomaro and Ki no Tsurayuki along with their poetry, using techniques for a full three-dimensional image. The lower part features the pattern "Karahana-monyo" in which round and diamond shapes are arranged on thick scarlet woolen cloth.

The old and new tapestries will be displayed from July 13 in the Uradeyama-cho area's shrine's precincts. The new one will be used during the Gion Festival's "Yamahoko Junko" procession on July 17. The head of the "Urade Yama Hozonkai," or preservation group of the Gion Festival Urade Yama Float, said, "Such high-quality, embroidered Mizuhiki cannot be found anywhere else, so we hope that people take note of the tapestries as ornaments in this proud festival of Japan."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= The newly renovated, gorgeously re-embroidered "Mizuhiki" of the Urade Yama featuring "Thirty-six Immortal Poets" (Foundation for Gion Festival Preservation Associations)