A Treasured Creation: Today's Treasure - Ai, the Natural Indigo of Japan

15 Minutes

15m 00s
Broadcast on February 10, 2021 Available until February 10, 2022

"It's kami (gods) that have helped us for generations." So says Sato Akihito (82), a 19th-generation Ai, or indigo, producer. Digging into a hot mound of Ai, he immediately knows what the Ai "wants." Ai makes an almost mystical color due to time, several fermentation processes and constant care. It requires a delicate balance between the power of humans and Ai, as well as dye artisans who are dedicated to the craft of Aizome, or indigo dyeing. We take a look at the incessant dialog between humans, fungus and plant matter, which epitomizes the Japanese attitude towards nature and beauty.

Program Outline