During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), merchants from Hakata journeyed to Sung dynasty China with the founder of Joten-ji temple, Shoichi Kokushi, and the weaving techniques they brought back with them laid the foundations of Hakata textiles. During the Edo period (1600-1868), most of the area of present-day Fukuoka Prefecture corresponded to the province of Chikuzen. The feudal lord of this province, Kuroda Nagamasa sent tributes (kenjo) of Hakata textiles to the Shogunate and this led to the cloth also being called Kenjo Hakata.
The types of cloth most representative of all those from Hakata are the lustrous plain woven cloths with their elegant designs, and the very colorful, elaborately woven figured textiles. Part of the joy of the Hakata obi is the ease with which they can be tied and the characteristic silk squeak when they are pulled up tight. Now there are 55 Master Craftsmen recognized among the 664 employed by 93 mills that still produce the traditional obi as well as ties, dress material and even interior fabrics.
- Hakata Textile Industrial Association
- 1-14-12 Hakataeki-Minami, Hakata-ku,
Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
Website : http://www.hakataori.or.jp