Tsumugi
This episode features Tsumugi, a type of dyed, woven silk fabric. There are a number of regional variations across Japan. The fabric produced in the Yuki area of Ibaraki Prefecture uses the lesser quality "silk floss" from the silkworm cocoons, which is spun by hand into yarn. The fabric from Amami Oshima Island gets its lustrous dark colors from being dyed with the local mud and then washed in the local pristine streams. The singer Sato Anna performs a local song about the weaving of yarn. She wears for us an heirloom kimono of Tsumugi inherited from her grandmother. (Sato also sang the theme song for an NHK historical drama series about the influential 19th-century warrior and statesman Saigo Takamori.) Azumino in Nagano Prefecture is renowned for its fabric produced from wild silk, also called "diamond silk" on account of its rarity. The resulting fabric has a bewitching sheen. The antiques expert Nakajima Seinosuke talks about Tsumugi fabrics and art.