Wednesday, April 13, 2011

垂 taré

nothing to do with bikes, but something else beautiful.
it is my taré, the traditional hip and groin protector from my kendo armour.
the whole armour is beautiful but I just had this close- up handy.
the blue is natural indigo-dyed cotton with indigo-dyed deerskin inserts and edging.
the braiding is persimmon-dyed silk cord.
the squares are created by a special stitching pattern that makes the armour both supple and shock absorbing.
there are probably more than 50,000 individual stitches in this piece of armour alone.
there is a row of tiny stitches in purple silk around the cloud-shaped section as well, to make sure the edges don't catch on anything and start to pull on the stitching, which is so tight it that even if you wanted to it would be almost impossible to unpick.
the whole armour or bogu consists of a) helmet, b) gauntlets, c) plastron and d) apron (taré)
time and wear creates a natural fade (and fit) like a favourite pair of jeans.
perhaps it is the fact of the amount of work went into it—
the Japanese would not be embarassed to say the spirit of the maker was in each piece. 
his name is Takashi Kawamura by the way.
I'd like to meet him one day,
he lives in Kyoto.

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