Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silk Museum

We visited a silk museum last week after the mochi making. Apparently that area of Japan was part of the silk road up until a few generations ago. Every family kept silk worms in their attic and sold them to cooperatives that exported them. We even met a woman who said her friend's parents used to have them upstairs and she could hear them munching on leaves. Here are some things we learned about silk worms:

1) They only eat the leaves of mulberry bushes.
2) 1 cocoon can have as much as 1 kilometer of silk.
3) They eat silkworms in China and Korea.
4) Silkworms are completed domesticated and have been crossbred so many times that they are blind and helpless in nature-just little silk making machines, they are.

There were lots of displays like this of the silk worms


and their cocoons and silk.


Probably the coolest part though was all of the dyed silk.


2 comments:

  1. This museum looks amazing! Probably not too many signs in English though--and I would guess the vocab is fairly particular/full of jargon. Do you know enough Japanese that you could get the general idea?

    But the fabric sample wall...so cool. Some of it is clearly shibori in the second pic. It is awesome that you live close to such a great resource!

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  2. Everything was in Japanese; we couldn't read hardly anything. What we learned we learned from English speaking Japanese folks that were there with us.

    The best part was you could touch most stuff, including the dyed silk!

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