At the age of 20, Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003) saw tsujigahana for the first time and it changed his life. Tsujigahana is a 16th-century Japanese textile decorative technique that incorporates resist-dyeing, brush painting, applied metallic leaf, and embroidery using gold and silver threads.
It took the Master thirty years of research to discover all the secrets of the ancient technique. However, what he then brought to the world was his own version of it, which incorporated innovative designs and contemporary colours.
Kubota kimono are exquisite works of art and are frequently exhibited both in Japan and abroad, where they continue to gather accolades. In recognition of his artistry, the technique he used was given the name Itchiku tsujigahana.
When the collection was on the verge of being sold in 2011 due to a lack of available finance, the International Chodiev Foundation rescued the Itchiku Kubota Museum and preserved its world-famous collection of sublime kimono for Japan. There are 104 Kimono in the collection, which were created by the artist over four decades, and include Kubota’s masterwork – the Symphony of Light, which consists of a continuous panorama over 36 kimono. The collection is hosted in a purpose-built museum near Lake Kawaguchi, by Mount Fuji.
Since 2013, exhibitions of the kimono have been held in 14 countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, USA and Canada and Kubota’s kimono have been seen by more than 500,000 visitors.*
“I did it as a token of gratitude to Japan for the influence it has had on my life”, commented Dr. Chodiev. “My professional and personal life has long-lasting ties to Japan. I’ve visited this country on numerous occasions, I’ve even worked in this beautiful country and came to appreciate the best qualities of the Japanese people. I love your unique culture and traditions.”
*As at September 2016.