Aizome (indigo dyeing) has been deeply established in the lives of the Japanese. It is a dyeing technique using indigo, a natural plant dye.
Favored as an auspicious color during the days of the samurai, indigo was lauded overseas as the color that symbolized Japan during the Meiji Period, earning the nickname “Japan blue.”
Since the Edo Period when indigo production prospered, natural indigo produced in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan has been called awa ai (or hon ai) due to its superior quantity and quality, differentiating it from indigo produced in other regions.
Nowadays, with the emergence of synthetic dyes and low-cost indigo produced overseas, indigo production in Japan has drastically declined. For this reason, the finest, traditional, natural indigo produced in Tokushima has become very precious.
To this day, traditional dyeing methods using sophisticated techniques are still being handed down from generation to generation. Genuine indigo products that have been dyed multiple times using natural indigo from plants accrue a rich, deep, and tranquil color the more they are used and washed.