Asamai Dyeing

Dyeing shops in Asamai district (Hiraka town, Yokote City) flourished as the area was rich in spring water. In the Meiji era, the industry reached its peak thanks to the lands around the district that were suitable for growing indigo. Cotton cloth production helped this growth, and it is said that there were 13 dyeing shops in Asamai. Indigo dye has greater dyeing affinity with cotton, so coloring requires skilled intuition. This is one of the reasons why the profession of dyeing shops matured at an early age. However, the Asamai dyeing industry deteriorated from the late Meiji era due to the spinning machine’s development and the spread of chemical dyes. Asamai dyeing’s characteristics are its insect-proofing effect and the beautiful color and scent created by dyeing and drying. Asamai dyeing used only Japanese indigo dye. In recent years, because few people wear indigo-dyed cotton clothing, they mainly manufacture flags and banners with words on them or printed Japanese waistcoats (originally for craftsmen).