ZUAN&ZOKEI by Makoto Kagoshima


'Meet the traditional craft' is the concept that we, ZUAN & ZOKEI and Japanese traditional craft collaborate together and influence each other that lead us discovering new charming points of both ZUAN( design) and techniques.

In collaborating with KAMAWANU, a TENUGUI specialty store, we produced our original “TENUGUI” design based on the ZUAN drawn by Makoto Kagoshima. TENUGUI is a traditional Japanese cotton cloth used to wipe one’s hands and body that became popular in the Edo period (1592-1868) when cotton cultivation spread throughout Japan. It has been and will be an indispensable item in daily use in Japan. The TENUGUI have been made by craftsmen by using the traditional hand-dyeing technique called “Chusen.” The several carved “Shibugami”washi-paper used as patterns are covered over the fabrics and fold over. Dyes are poured onto those fabrics except glue areas so the design seeps through repeatedly.

There are no rules in how you may use TENUGUI, so please feel free to be creative in incorporating TENUGUI into your daily life. Makoto Kagoshima’s designs are created as if a scene in a story in TENUGUI, so you can use it as an interior décor item at home such as a table runner or a tapestry.


Makoto Kagoshima’s 4 original sketches for TENUGUI
From the left, 2 snakes, 3 dogs, 4 birds, and 5 fish. As you can see, the number of motifs is increasing. You can enjoy well-designed 'ZUAN' when in folding or hanging on the wall.

< The process of creating TENUGUI >


Patterns are made by craftsmen who carve Makoto Kagoshima's ZUAN into Japanese Shibugami paper. A 90-cm roll of bleached cotton cloth is folded over the pattern and the patterns are imprinted onto the cloth. Again, a 90-cm section of blank cloth is rolled out on top of the previously printed cloth and the process is repeated several times.


Dyes are poured onto the layered cloth and sucked out from below by a compressor. The reverse side of the layered cloth is dyed simultaneously.


The textiles are washed to remove glue and extra dye.


Then they are dried in the sun.


When the textiles are dry, they are rolled up and then folded into TENUGUI length. Finally, they are cut into individual pieces.