A Spirit of Kami and Cloth



“Nono Omizue” 2021/ Photography by Yurie Nagashima

一向以服裝作為表達語言之一的COSMIC WONDER,創辦人前田征紀(Yukinori Maeda)和一直為人類靈性創造空間的Kogei Punks Sha的石井すみ子(Sumiko Ishii),在NONO OMIZUE展覽的影片使用在地的器具及和紙進行受茶會 —— 以在地的高水質泉水款待客人,儀式中穿著的「天然布」是利用了在地的山脈、大海和河流處採集的植物、海藻、水草等纖維,攙入紙中抄製而成的手工和紙衣。

Yukinori Maeda, the founder of COSMIC WONDER, that has always been using clothing as one of their expressing languages, is now partnered with Sumiko Ishii from Kogei Punks Sha, that has been creating space for human spirit, presenting the use of local utensils and washi paper for the ritual in the film from the exhibition.  

OMIZUE welcomes their guests with the finest local spring water.  The “natural cloth” they worn in the ceremony are actually made of paper, weaved with fibres taken from plants, such as hemp, mulberry, rattan, kozo and basho from local mountains, seas and rivers.

Exhibition “NONO a native spirit of Kami and Cloth” 2021/ Photography by Shinichi Yamazaki



在京都丹後紫藤織的故鄉 ——上世屋,有一個傳説,神靈教曉了她們如何編織紫籐布,利用植物製成繊維再造成衣服,所以上世屋的人們會將紫藤織物暱稱為NONO



OMIZUE is a ritual to savor spring water.  As water is the source of life, it is an indispensable factor in making and manifesting the charm of washi paper.

NONO stands as a word to worship to the day/ Sun, the Moon, God and Buddha.

There is a legend in Kamiseya, a town with a tradition for fuji-ori, in the Tango region of Kyoto, it was God who taught the people how to take fibres out from plants, then to weave fuji cloth and use it to make clothes. Therefore, fuji-ori is affectionately called NONO.

From the perspective of Japanese theology, anything that could nourish mankind is a god. The plants that grow on earth incorporate the love and wisdom of the universe, people can use the plants and then turn them into fabric, through making clothes and wearing them on to become one with the universe. NONO unknowingly represents this beautiful connection and ideology!

However, on the contrary, we sold our souls to a convenient lifestyle, which resulted in heavy pollution, destruction of the environment and the earth, to a point that there is no return.

Exhibition “NONO a native spirit of Kami and Cloth” 2021/ Photography by Shinichi Yamazaki

COSMIC WONDER Kogei Punks Sha把他們從到訪日本各地研究遣留的「天然布」和紙張的旅程的所思所感,放進了島根縣立石見美術館中,構建起特別的空間,讓人們聆聽紙張的聲音,分享來自山上的糖果和泉水;從他們獨特的視點中選取並展出一組組的「天然布」、紡紗機、織布機等紡織工具。Fuji(紫藤)、kuzu(葛)、kaji(梶)、kozo(楮)、hemp ()ramie (苧麻)shinanoki(椴樹・洋菩提)、basho(日本芭蕉)和ohyo(裂葉榆・青榆),展現人們從這些植物中提取纖維紡成織物的過程。




Exhibition “NONO a native spirit of Kami and Cloth” 2021/ Photography by Shinichi Yamazaki

COSMIC WONDER and Kogei Punks Sha put their thoughts and feelings gathered from their journey, which they studied all the natural fabrics and paper left in various places in Japan into the exhibition held in Iwami Art Museum in Shimane.  Through an unique presentation under their exceptional perspectives, they share sweets and water from mountains, orchestrated a symphony by washi paper.  They selected different sets of “natural cloth” including Fuji (wisteria), kuzu (arrowroot), kaji (original paper mulberry), kozo (paper mulberry), hemp, ramie, shinanoki (Japanese linden), basho (Japanese banana plant), and ohyo (Manchurian elm), showing the process of extracting fibers from these plants and weaving them into fabrics using various groups of spinning devices such as spinning wheels and looms.

There are also exhibits of potsherds from the Jomon era earthenware, which retained marks of fabric texture, alongside performances using handmade Japanese washi paper and new video together with photography work.  The duo put together the most profound reflections from their journeys, for example, the signs that remain in the places they visited, their local experiences and the mystical connection in between, combining material exhibition and lecture to express their feelings from a spiritual realm. 

We can see that they are trying their best to exhort and remind us these fabrics had existed long ago, when we benefited from and cherished by the nurturing natural environment.  However, in this age of information overflow, what we can choose in the future is precisely reflected in these natural fabrics and handcrafted paper at the present moment.

It is such a shame that we are not able to experience this exhibition in person, but we can rethink and reevaluate our way of living as we all share this same planet. Instead of chasing after the materials outside us, isn’t it better to learn the philosophy from within? Take a look back at our own place and search for our treasures, have some deep thoughts on what can be inherited and what we can do to contribute to this homeland.


“Winter landscape of Oidani” 1971/ Photography by Shozo Sumita

「NONO a spirit of kami and cloth」展覽
日期: 20/3/2021 – 16/5/2021
地點: 島根藝術中心岩見美術館展示室C “Grand Toit”

Period: March 20 – May 16 (Sun), 2021
Venue: Iwami Art Museum  Exhibition room C Shimane Arts Center “Grand Toit”