The kasuri (splashed pattern) method had not been used in weaving until the
Edo era. It was not until then, when the use of cotton had spread, that dyeing
and weaving became popular among the people. Kasuri grew from the
development of dyeing and weaving, so a close relationship between kasuri and
cotton was generated. Kasuri has been a textile popular among many people in
Japan since old times.
The neighborhood of Shinichi-cho, former Ashina-gun (present Fukuyama City), is the home of Bingogasuri.
In 1853, Kyuzaburo Tomita was shown kishi-jima, silk fabrics woven in the
asagi-kasuri method by Manbei Nakataya. Getting an idea from this textile, he
thought up the technique of tying part of the warps with bamboo sheaths,
utilizing guide threads, and weaving them to generate igeta (a double cross
pattern kasuri), from which Bingo-gasuri originates. The simple pattern and
original beauty captivated people.
In the early Meiji era, kasuri began to be sold all over the country, and the
fame of Bingo-gasuri spread. Although the long history of Bingo-gasuri has not
always been easy or prosperous, now Bingo-gasuri is known all over the world
as one of Hiroshima Prefecture's special products.
The fame of Bingo-gasuri is firm as the leader among the three big names in
kasuri (Iyo-gasuri, Kurume-gasuri and Bingo-gasuri).
Bingo-gasuri displaying originality with its igeta pattern (Photograph taken circa 1994)
Kyuzaburo Tomita was born on May 5, 1828 at Arichi Village, Ashida-gun, and died October 8, 1911, when he was eighty-four. The weaving and dyeing trade, mainly from Shinichi-cho, erected a Shotoku monument in the precincts of the Susano Shrine in 1905, and after that a bust was also made in praise of his achievements and benevolence, which he left as his legacy in Bingo-gasuri.