Arimatsu Shibori Matsuri: Japanese Tie-Dyeing Festival in Arimatsu


      I went to Arimatsu yesterday. There was a festival named Arimatsu Shibori Matsuri in the town. Shibori means Japanese tie-dyeing, and Arimatsu is famous for it. The town has a festival of the tie-dyeing for only two days a year; the first Saturday and Sunday of June.

     Since I’ve heard an old street of stores and houses remains in Arimatsu and I’ve known it’s very famous for Shobori tie-dyeing, I’d have liked to visit the town once for a long time. I like seeing Japanese old towns and am interested in materials. At last I had an opportunity to visit there.

     A few days ago, a friend of mine informed me about the festival by email. I checked my schedule and replied her, “I’ll come!” And she and I decided to meet each other at Arimatsu Station in the morning of that day.

      Arimatsu is in Midori Ward located in the southeast of Nagoya. I took the highway bus to Nagoya Station and the local train in Meitetsu line to the town yesterday morning. It was my first time to use the line and the scenery seen from the train window excited me. The train was going through small and narrow areas. I was very surprised to find out what I was looking at was not the wall of a station, was the wall of an apartment house! It’s possible that the residents take the train from their windows!

     The train began slowing down for stopping at Arimatsu Station, and all of the passengers groaned. We saw many tourists overflowed around the street from the train windows. It was around 10:00 in the morning and many people already came to the festival.

      I saw a cute girl in yukata, summer cotton kimono or Japanese traditional wear in front of the station. She was coming closer and closer. Oh! That girl was my friend! She was wearing a beautiful yukata of Arimatsu Shibori tie-dyeing. According to her, she bought it at the festival last year. It was really nice on her.

     She and I saw many Shibori works there. Shibori has many methods of dyeing cloth with patterns by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it. I was really impressed by the artistic handicrafts. 

      The local people are trying to preserve and invigorate the town at the same time with their specialty, Shibori. It’s wonderful that not only seniors but also young people take an active part in the project. And I thought I was going to come there again next year.   


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