ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Arts

Tokyo 'sumi-e' artist brings new life to traditional art

From formal kimonos to fashion T-shirts, Japan's celebrated ink painting bridges eras

A haori jacket with a dragon design. Painting directly on clothes requires courage, as not a single stroke can be changed once it has been made. (Courtesy of Tamayo Samejima)

TOKYO -- Tamayo Samejima kneels on the ground, rubbing a stick of black sumi ink against a flat ink stone. She takes a brush and applies the ink in bold strokes over the white surface before her, moving from right to left, creating what looks at first glance like a work of abstract art.

With the deft strokes of a master sumi-e artist, Samejima quickly brings to life a magnificent crane. But she is painting not on washi paper -- the traditional support for sumi-e ink art -- but on a white kimono, the traditional wedding costume for young women.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more