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Tokyo Textile Institute:

editors personal note
textile tours
contact details



Tokyo Textile Institute is a crucible for the experiment, theory and practice of all kinds of textile activities. Textile enthusiasts come from all over Japan to gain technical knowledge and, more importantly, to find themselves stretched and challenged by the residing spirit of experimentation and aesthetic discipline.

The Institute, which has a small gallery area and workshop housed in a pleasant building that was converted from a doctor's surgery, is located near to a metro station. It is run by Tetuo Miyake, with support from his wife Akiko Miyake and the everpresent labrador dog, 'mimi chan'.


an image from 'Art & Craft Forum'
published quarterly (Japanese only)

In addition to their workshops, they use the banner of "Tokyo Textile Forum" to describe two further components of their work: exhibiting (in their gallery) and publishing (through, amongst others - "Art & Craft Forum" -a magazine about textile, crafts and fine arts, published quarterly).

The Institute provides many part time courses as well as intensive one-off workshops that last a few days, covering a diverse range of topics - not just textiles but also various crafts and fine art subjects that reflect their broad concept about the scope and nature of textile activity.

Their training is far from conventional, and they arrange unusual events, such as outings to their small-holding at a little village in a remote area of Japan where 'students' experience the pleasures of growing and harvesting their own natural dye materials. Their 'outreach' work includes working with children from the local schools.

Perhaps the most unique activity - a privilege that is almost impossible for ordinary Japanese residents to arrange on their own - are the visits to the studios of very well known established artists and Master Craftsmen, some of whom are designated as Living National Treasures. This is truly an opening into the hidden Japan that very few visitors to the country would ever experience.

The gallery space shows the work of professional artists and craftsmen, but it is also sometimes used to display the work of freshly graduated textile students or for educational purposes. The gallery can be hired, subject to availability and at the discretion of the director.  
Selected materials and textile equipment are sold from their premises and via mail order. This includes a range of yarns exclusive to the Institute, spinning wheels and hand looms.  
open invitation:

Although Mr Miyake himself doesn't speak English, he has access to English speakers who can help translate. Visitors from abroad are welcome to join any of the courses, workshops or field trips held by the Tokyo Textile Institute. If you are a textiles teacher or a practicing artist/craftsperson and you would like to run a workshop there, they would be delighted to hear your ideas, but bear in mind that they can't offer you preferential payment over Japanese tutors.



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