I was invited, in a round about way, to go to a textile museum yesterday. I have to explain how this came about, as it is very typical of a lot of my experiences in Tokyo so far. A month or so ago, I went to my first Book Club, held at the Tokyo American Club. I met a lot of very nice people there, including a woman called Tracy. She accidentally put me on another book club email list and I was invited to that by mistake. She invited me to come along anyway, and it was held in a woman's apartment on the 38th floor, where I met some more lovely people. While I was there I met a Japanese woman called Michiko. I told her I was a textile designer and she said she'd just heard about a fab new textile museum opening and would I like to go. Of course I said yes, so yesterday I went along with her and her friend Bonnie, who is from New York and publishes a newsletter about Asian textiles! I just love how open everyone is here, and one fab event leads to another. I hardly knew these women, but we hit it off straight away, went for a gorgeous lunch and then headed to this gem of a museum - the Iwatate Folk Textile Museum.
It is owned by a Japanese woman and is a lifetime's collection (over 40 years) of textiles that she has collected from around the world. She has thousands of pieces, and will be showing different themes each month. This month is hand woven pieces, which were exquisite. The lovely thing is that if you call up in advance and let her know you are coming she will come down and tell you about each piece (she lives upstairs). It made it extra special having a commentary from her on how each piece was individually created, so lovingly, knowing that she had found these pieces herself and, in many cases, watched them being made. Sadly I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but I will definitely be heading back there for the embroidery exhibition in February.