Founder Heizo Tatsumura brought a revolution to the world of
Steeped in the research of traditional textiles such as Kodaigire
taught at Horyuji Temple and the Shosoin Repository (at the Todaiji
Temple, Nara), his work can be described as the pinnacle of dyeing
and weaving textile techniques, which he preserved and elevated to
the level of an art.
When Tatsumura was 16, he started on his path in the kimono sales
business in Nishijin, Kyoto and gradually grew more and more
immersed in the research of kimono textile weaving techniques.
He set out on his own as an independent textile manufacturer at the
age of 18 in 1894 (the 27th year of the Meiji period).
As his sales grew, he took out patents for numerous techniques
such as Takanami Ori Weave and Kokechi Ori Weave, amazing his
counterparts in the process as he was barely over the age of 30.
Tatsumura recruited many young designers who possessed a
wealth of artistic sensibility. This was unprecedented in the textile
industry at the time, and led to fostering the famous modernist
Insho Domoto (1891-1975) and a number of other distinguished
figures in the Japanese art world who produced many remarkable
The great writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa boosted Tatsumura to
lasting fame when describing his works as having "astounding
artistic sense." This helped lead "textile art" to become established
in broader society.
In his research on what are called “famed fabrics” (meibutsugire),
Tatsumura restored some 70 precious textiles. His contributions
helped the proliferation of Japanese textile art. His field of activity
broadened worldwide when he took orders for material from notable
international designers such as Christian Dior. In 1956, he received
the Imperial Award at the age of 80 from the Japan Art Academy.
The award was given to honor Tatsumura's many achievements that
helped open new possibilities in the world of textile craftsmanship.
Working in the traditional environs of the Nishijin neighborhood of
Kyoto, Tatsumura's continuously novel ideas and mastery of
innovative techniques broke new ground in his field. His predilection
for the phrase "weave [designs] of the future by knowing [designs]
of the past" expressed the unaltered passion and fervor that he
possessed for a lifetime dedicated to the beauty of textiles.