My imagination flies to the city of Edo whenever I design.
As a minor craftswoman and a trueborn Tokyoite, I have so many things to learn from the aesthetic principles of artists who lived in Edo. People lived in this city with restraints and anxieties peculiar to a feudal society. But they had pride. The wind blew through their neighborhoods, too. They had a free spirit. The times have changed, and everything – including people and their neighborhoods – have changed also. Still, I feel that the spirit of Edo remains unbroken in our Tokyo, even if on a more modest scale.
I felt that spirit right here at Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo, too. I wanted to depict the Edo spirit using a related motif on this latest assignment, which involved producing a new yukata design for the Hotel.
My design shows the Gofukubashi Gate of bygone days and the Nihonbashi district of the present day, viewed from a place near Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo with the streets of Edo in the background. More precisely, I depicted a neighborhood west of the Nihonbashi Bridge on the side that featured Ikkokubashi Bridge and Gofukubashi Crossing. During the Edo period, fish markets were set up on both sides of the Nihonbashi River. This area thrived as a distribution base for Edo, with cargo arriving from all parts of Japan. I made the motif look appealing by arranging an individual dining table, sake, brazier and tobacco tray for guests, the Ryumeikan tavern crowded with travelers as a cityscape, and a Japanese set meal with a seasonal flower motif on the individual dining table.
I would be happy if this yukata helped people unexpectedly feel the breeze that blows from Edo to Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo.