On 9 February 2015 an article appeared in the New York Times entitled Old Ways Prove Hard to Shed, Even as Crisis Hits the Kimono Trade. Written by Martin Fackler, it tells the story of the downturn in demand for high-end kimonos. Fackler visited the Japanese sub-tropical island of Amami Oshima, famous for its production of high quality silk kimonos. He wrote: "On Amami Oshima, production has fallen so far in the last two decades that only 500 people on an island with 73,000 residents remain employed full-time in kimono production, and many of them are in their 70s or 80s. That's down to 20,000 people a generation ago. The island's production of kimono silk has similarly plunged, from enough to make 284,278 kimonos during the height of the post-war boom in 1972, to enough for just 5,340 kimonos last year."
While I am aware of the decline in kimono production and the story it tells, this was not what interested me most in Fackler's article. It was rather the slowness of the production process that fascinated me about the kimonos of Amami. This book tells the story of the kimonos of the Japanese island Amami. It shows the beauty of these kimonos and the skill and experience of the people that make them. It is a book about a quiet world full of craft, knowledge and dedication.