Various theories abound, including legendary tales from the Heian and Muromachi Periods.
There are several legends about the origins of katagami. Stories say it was created by a man named Magoshichi during the Nara Period or that a priest of the Koyasu Kannon was inspired by seeing leaves eaten through by insects. Legend states that stencil merchants existed during the Heian Period, and it’s theorized that the craft was passed down from stencil makers who escaped from Kyoto during the Onin War. Many tales surround the origins of katagami, but it is unclear which stories are true. However, as the Shiroko area did not originally have dyed paper or stenciling industries, it’s commonly believed that it originated from relationships with other regions such as ties with Kyoto or propagation from the Kishu-han.
Large developments under the protection of the Kishu Domain, development of komon crests.
Upon entering the Edo Period, Shiroko fell under the jurisdiction of the Kishu-han. Under their protection, Ise Katagami was further developed, and during this time stenciling was used to decorate the ceremonial robes of samurai, thus the crests became more and more detailed. Development was fostered by cooperation between both stencil makers and dye shops, and purveyors of these services formed guilds. Under the protection of the Kishu Domain, manufacturers of these products were able to sell katagami in many regions of Japan, and Ise Katagami spread throughout the country.
Dissolution of merchant guilds, times of prosperity, and the effects of war.
During the Meiji Period, the guilds that had been formed during the Edo Period were dissolved. Along with the trends of modernization, the culture of clothing was continually changing. However, as a result of the Pacific War, there was a large decrease of workers in the katagami industry.
After the war, as domestic reconstruction progressed, the demand for kimono fabric was on the rise. The katagami industry boomed and reached its peak around the 1960s. With the spread of modern technology, the need for stencil patterns greatly decreased.
Separation from kimono culture, aiming to preserve traditional techniques.
In present day, there is a lower demand for kimono. Also, new technology for dyeing techniques caused demand for katagami to fall, resulting in only a small number of workers left in the industry. However, a preservation society was formed in order to pass down the techniques of the designated traditional handicraft, Ise Katagami.
New methods are continually being sought to utilize Ise Katagami such as applying it to lighting fixtures, using it for architectural fittings, and more.
|Suiko 15AD607||Many of the dyed and woven artifacts of Hyoruji Temple were around 100 years old at this time.|
|Taiho 1701||Ceremonial dress, court dress, and uniforms were decreed. Nuidono-ryo (clothing bureau) established. Nuibe-no-tsukasa (weavers), naisenshi-no-tsukasa (dyers) appointed.
(under the Taiho Code)
|Wado 4711||Momomon-no-tsukasa appointed to 21 countries including Ise. Nishikori weaving technology expanded.|
|Tenpyo 20748||Said to be the establishment of Koyasu Kannon on Mt. Shiroko.|
|Tenpyo-Kanpo 4752||Weaved and dyed artifacts in the Shosoin treasure house are said to be primarily from this period.
Katagami used as the paper for “Tomikyu-e.”
|Enryaku 13794||Kyozome techniques thought to have started around this time.|
|Enryaku 18799||Four katagami craftsmen located in Ise-Shiroko around this time. (per the Stencil Sales Calendar Notebook)|
|Jotoku 11079||Around 20 dye-stencil and katagami merchants in Ise-Shiroko.|
|Showa 11312||Around 50 katagami merchants in Ise-Shiroko.|
|Around Bunsho 21467||According to Professor Shiro Tanaka, it is presumed that katagami dyeing techniques were introduced from the Kyoto area around this time.|
|Tensho 61578||Uesugi Shrine acquires short-sleeved kimono and delicate komon-patterned light kimono owned by Uesugi Kenshin/Kagekatsu.|
|Tensho 181590||Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s “Tsujigahana” robes were made around this time.|
|Bunroku 41595||127 katagami workers from Jike and Shiroko petition Mitsuyoshi Bunbu, the current head of Anki-gun’s Ueno castle, for protection.|
|Keicho 81603||Nikko Tosho-gu acquires a “small floral printed robe” owned by Tokugawa Ieyasu.|
|Genna 51619||Shiroko-jike Village is proclaimed domain of Kii, the first lord of the Kishu-han.
(The Kishu Domain protects and promotes the industry of Shiroko Katagami)
|Genna 61620||Paper folding screen (Pictures of People of Various Occupations in Their Workshops) drawn by Yoshinobu Kano.|
|Genna 71621||Two years after Yorinobu Tokugawa (first head of the Kishu-han) comes to power, katagami merchants apply to conduct privileged business.|
|Genna 81622||“Preferential stamps” and “Shipping records” are subscribed. Business is conducted using these.
(Katagami remaining from this time, show that yarn insertion techniques were already being implemented.
|Kan’ei 111634||A palace for the Kishu Tokugawa family was built in Shiroko, and a magistrate was installed. At the same time, Ise merchants from Matsuzaka/Tsu advanced to Edo. With this, Shiroko barges also became prosperous.|
|Tenna 31683||Order for the prohibition of luxury goods, stencil dyeing becomes prevalent.|
|Genroku 21689||Among the existing old katagami, robust ones secured with the “persimmon tannin method” are found.|
|Genroku 51692||Four katagami craftsmen are recorded in the Ejima Village survey.|
|Genroku 111698||Yuzen dyeing methods become prevalent.|
|Kyoho 11716||Kyoho reform, Kishu Ejima Village becomes Tenryu Domain (under Hatamoto, Ogasawara).|
|Horeki 31753||A guild of 138 katagami craftsmen is officially recognized, and licenses are subscripted. Breakdown: Main branch, Jike Village Katagami Guild 90 members, Shiroko Village Katagami Guild 37 members. Sub-branch Ejima Village Katagami Guild 11 members. In order to reinforce “preferential stamps” and “shipping records”, a “passage stamp” system was created. The heads of both Jike and Shiroko Villages regulate the guild. Village laws are created, and compliance is constrained.|
|Horeki 41754||Refusal of fixed wages incident occurs. The katagami guild members submit a manifest of complaint. “Passage stamps” are reformed.|
|Horeki 91759||“Year of the Rabbit, small tools price reduction” association fixes prices for stencil molds.|
|Meiwa 11764||Restricted last names and swords permitted for katagami guild members when traveling.|
|Meiwa 51768||Iekura Terao records the Stencil Sales Calendar Notebook.|
|Kansei 11789||Ejima Village Stencil Merchants joins the merchant guild system of both villages as a sub-branch.|
|Kansei 21790||In order to achieve the Kansei reform, production of katagami, considered to be domestic product of the Kishu Domain, was encouraged as a financial supplement in both Jike and Shiroko Villages.|
|Kansei 91797||At the general assembly of the katagami merchant guild, issues regarding stencil creators were discussed and guild members from both Jike and Shiroko Villages decided not to order stencils from stencil manufacturers who were not from either village.|
|Bunsei 61823||Twelves migrant workers were permitted to go to the large consumer region of Edo. There are 185 katagami merchants in Jike and 23 in Shiroko for a total of 208.|
|Bunsei 91826||“Artisan Bidding Book” defines regulations of stencil engraving artisans. (Merchant guild is organized.) There were 184 katagami merchants in Jike and 23 in Shiroko, as well as a handful in Ejima Village. The migrant workers in Edo are incorporated in, and commerce badges are issued again from the Kishu Domain.|
|Tenpo 51834||The Kishu-han makes adjustment to the katagami guilds in both villages. Currently 150 shops. Tenpo revolution.|
|Tenpo 31841||The Tenpo Revoluation begins. As the shogunate banned wholesalers, Shiroko’s port industry declines.|
|Kaei 51852||“New Passage Stamps” and “Relative Employment Books” are issued. Payment of relative wages is clearly stated. Rules of the Shiroko magistrate office and the guilds of both villages are clarified.|
|Meiji 11868||Meiji Restoration|
|Meiji 21869||The Kishu-han carries out system reforms. Shiroko magistrate was changed to Shiroko Bureau of Civil Affairs. Commerce badges rendered invalid.|
|Meiji 41871||Feudal domains abolished, Shiroko and Jike fall under the jurisdiction of Wakayama Prefecture. Guilds are dissolved within Wakayama, but activities of the katagami guilds from both villages continue under tacit consent. Flexible-rate business taxes are abolished and become the “Dyeing and Stenciling Business Tax.”|
|Meiji 51872||Per the “family registry system,” Shiroko has 680 households, Jike has about 40.|
|Meiji 61873||Under the principles of unrestricted operations, guilds are disbanded.|
|Meiji 81875||Around this time, methods of improving persimmon tannin are being researched by Shonosuke Kitamura, etc.|
|Meiji 101877||Around this time, Jihei Kitamura devises the “murogarashi” drying method.|
|Meiji 131880||Around this time, Jihei Kitamura invents the smoke room method for smoking katagami.
Establishment of stock companies is permitted for the manufacturing and sales of katagami. Guilds are dismantled. As an industry promotional measure with the purpose of joint sales, the company, “Kamado Nigiwai-sha” is established. (disbanded in 1882)
|Meiji 141881||According to the “Kamado Nigiwai Company Ordinance,” 52 katagami merchants were active in both Shiroko and Jike villages.|
|Meiji 301897||Shiroko Katagami Industry Association is established (The association later becomes the Ise Katagami Cooperative Trade Union consisting of katajigami production, engraving, regional sales, logistics, and yarn departments)|
|Meiji 351902||40 merchants are recorded in the “Ise Katagami Union Sales Member Record” in both villages. Shiroko Municipal Polytechnical School (later Shiroko Polytechnical School, a 3-year system night school) established. In Shiroko, “Zuankenkyu” (a Design Research) club is formed.|
|Meiji 421909||Shiroko Municipal Polytechnical school records list 40 merchants, 198 katagami manufacturers, and 17 katajigami producers. (The increase may be based on effects of the Russo-Japanese war)|
|Taisho 101921||Dyeing contractor Gihei Inami from Takaoka, Toyama is granted a Katagami fabric stretching device patent. (Prior to this, Jike had 40 katagami manufacturers. This patent relieved the necessity of using two spool thread holders.)|
|Taisho 121923||The union is renamed to “Ise Katagami Trade Union.” Due to the Great Kanto Earthquake, the industry flourished.|
|Showa 11926||A demonstration in opposition to the Prefectural Commercial and Industrial Law, article 9 (prohibition of direct sales and monopoly) was held by engravers. Shiroko Municipal Polytechnical School becomes Shiroko Municipal School.|
|Showa 21927||Between 1927-1928, use of the fabric stretching method quickly spreads through the Suzuka Region.|
|Showa 31928||350 stencil craftsmen, 20 katajigami producers, and 50 merchants were listed in the “Katagami-no-Hanashi” (Talks on Katagami). An increase in numbers from the Meiji Period and a sign of a flourishing industry.|
|Showa 41929||The Ise Katagami Trade Union publishes “The origins and history of Katagami.” (There are 29 katajigami producers, 23 regional sales employees, 29 Tokyo Katagami association members, and 14 stores in Kyoto, as well as a purchasing department in Shiroko.)|
|Showa 51930||Fabric stretching is deregulated. Cost of yarn plummets, worsening global recession.|
|Showa 101935||More than 1000 katagami engravers were in business at this time.|
|Showa 161941||The Pacific War begins. The industry shrinks during the war and dyers change their trade to producing clothing items. The official price of jigami is listed in the Mie Prefectural public report.|
|Showa 171942||Suzuka City is Established. Sales of textile/fabric items are restricted.|
|Showa 211946||Ise Some-Katagami Engravers Union is formed. Production is resumed after losing the war. The “Ise Katagami Engravers Union” and later, the “Ise Katagami Jigami Production Union”, “Japan Chusen Katagami Cooperative Association” and “Ise Katagami Sales Association” are formed. In the future, they will be unified to form the “Ise Katagami Cooperative Association. “|
|Showa 221947||The “Japan Chusen Wazarashi Union” is formed in Osaka. Katagami for their production is handled by Shiroko. Suzuka Municipal Polytechnical School (second-class) is closed after school consolidation following the war. A renewal of interest in dyeing spreads.|
|Showa 241949||Around this time, practical use of screens began in Japan. Difficulties arise such as transaction tax and business tax opposition.|
|Showa 261951||The control on cotton products is released.|
|Showa 271952||According to the “General Survey of Suzuka City”, there are 128 people involved in the katagami industry. Of that, 20 are katajigimi producers. The industry is worth 120 million yen. There are 150 engravers worth 60 million yen. The Cultural Property Protection Committee designates Ise Katagami Engraving as an Intangible Cultural Property. (In March)|
|Showa 281953||Ise Some-Katagami Tax Saving Association established. Around this time, photo screens come to Shiroko.|
|Showa 301955||Yoshimatsu Nanbu, Kikuo Rokutani, Hiroshi Kodama, Yujiro Nakajima, and Mie Jonokuchi are recognized as holders of Intangible Cultural Property Technology. Yasutaka Komiya is certified as a preserver of komon techniques by The Cultural Property Protection Committee. Suzuka City publishes “Some-Katagami-no-hanashi” (Talks on Some-katagami). There are 20 kataji producers, 50 retailers, and 350 engravers. The Ise Some-Katagami Union holds at a necktie exhibition in Tokyo.|
|Showa 311956||Mie Prefectural Training Center is established. The Mie Prefectural Some-Katagami Engraver Labor Union branches off and becomes independent from the Ise Some-Katagami Union.|
|Showa 321957||Japan Chusen Katagami Cooperative Association is established. The Ise Some-Katagami Union holds creative medium-sized exhibitions in Tokyo, Osaka, and Hamamatsu between 1957-1959. The Fabric Stretching Section breaks off from the Ise Some-Katagami Union.|
|Showa 381963||Suzuka City starts a hands-on training program for Ise Katagami. (5-year program) At the same time, data collections begins.|
|Showa 401965||Hideo Nakami studies documents from the Terao family archives. Some of the findings are presented at the Mie Historical Society.|
|Showa 431968||Kyoto National Museum publishes “Some-no-katagami”. (Dyed katagami)|
|Showa 441969||During the Japanese-style bag boom, kimono fabric demand reaches a peak.|
|Showa 451970||“The History of Ise Katagami” edited by Shiro Tanaka, is published.|
|Showa 481973||Synthetic paper appears and becomes prevalent as a replacement to katagami paper. The Ise Katagami Engravers Union publishes “Chokoku.” (Engraving)|
|Showa 481973||(179 Engravers, average age 48.2 years, 46 family workers, 8 trainees)|
|Showa 491974||Traditional Crafts Industry Promotion Law set. The Mie Prefecture Board of Education publishes, “Urgent Investigative Report of Traditional Folkcrafts with a Focus on Ise Katagami”.|
|Showa 531978||In order to receive designation under the Traditional Crafts Industry Promotion Law, a diagnostic examination of the production area is commenced. There are 163 union members (per the union report).|
|Showa 541979||Mie Prefecture publishes the “Ise Katagami Industry Production Region Diagnostic Report”.|
|Showa 571982||The Ise Katagami Cooperative Association was established on January 12, 1982 unifying the “Ise Katagami Jigami Production Union” (paper), “Japan Chusen Katagami Cooperative Association” (yukata) and “Ise Katagami Sales Association” (kimono) organizations.|
|Showa 581983||Ise Katagami is designated as a traditional handicraft (tool) by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Suzuka Municipal Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts opened.|
|Heisei 31991||“Ise Katagami Preservation Society” formed on November 28th.|
|Heisei 41992||“Ise Katagami Preservation Society” named as an intangible cultural property of Mie Prefecture.|
|Heisei 51993||“Ise Katagami Preservation Society” appointed as an Important Intangible Cultural Property Association. Ise Katagami exhibition (afterwards known as the Ise Katagami Festival) held (until 2009.)|
|Heisei 91997||Ise Katagami Museum opened.|
|Heisei 101998||National Important Intangible Cultural Property Holders Association Conference held in Suzuka City.|
|Heisei 111999||Ise Katagami Cooperative Trade Union abolished.|
|Heisei 212009||“Ise Katagami Production District Council” organized.|
|Heisei 212009||“Ise Katagami” registered as a regional collective trademark.|
|Heisei 222010||Ise Katagami Cooperative Association named as overseers of Suzuka City Municipal Museum of Traditional Arts & Crafts.|