Influenced by Buddhist teachings of the Kamakura period (1185-1333 CE), the Nio Guardians can be found on either side of many Buddhist temple gates. The Nio, also known as the Deva or Benevolent Kings, are said to be protectors of Buddha, and their fierce image displays a dynamic and formidable strength. The figure seen in this tenugui is known as “Agyo". With his mouth open he is uttering the sound "ah", representing the birth or beginning of everything. His counterpart, “Ungyo”, has a closed mouth and makes the sound "un", signifying the end or death.
The designs of these tenugui are all completely original and created by young artists who live in Nara, who love Nara, and know the historical culture of Nara. Inspired by Nara’s nature, historical elements, and tradition, they provide a vivid description of 1300 years of Nara culture and history, with a modern and fashionable approach.
The fabric used for these tenugui is the highest quality of premium Japanese cotton. Users will immediately notice the superb absorption and quick drying qualities, in addition to the softness and comfort of the fabric.
The technique used for dyeing these tenugui is a traditional Japanese stencil dyeing method known as Ise Katagami. A few sheets of durable Japanese Washi paper are bound together and persimmon tannin is then applied. Experienced craftsmen carve out the design, bit by bit, with a chisel. When the carving is ready, a thin mesh of silk, called “Sha”, is applied to the surface before the lacquer is applied. Each procedure requires tremendous concentration and time-honored techniques applied by experienced craftsmen.
The traditional Japanese method used for dyeing these tenugui is called “Chusen”. Chusen dyeing is renowned for its delicate colour graduation and its double-sided colouration. Each part of the process is done by hand by a specialised craftsman. The nature of the dye used to make thee tenugui can mean that the colours produced may vary, depending on the temperature and humidity on that day. As these tenugui are all dyed by hand, some minor variations in colour may result.
"Blue Agyo" Tenugui
- Product Code: blue-agyo-tenugui
- Availability: In Stock