Chapter

The Mentality and Identity of the Nishijin Craftspeople

Tamara K. Hareven

in The Silk Weavers of Kyoto

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520228177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935761 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520228177.003.0005
The Mentality and Identity of the Nishijin Craftspeople

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The identity of Nishijin craftspeople rests on their sense of competence and skill, on their commitment to making a special textile famous for its unique quality and design, and on their membership of a community in which all aspects of life are deeply interwoven with the production of this textile. Nishijin weavers feel that the manufacturers take advantage of their loyalty and commitment to perfection in their craft. As dutiful wives, the Nishijin women acknowledge that their role as weavers is secondary and auxiliary to that of their husbands and to the family's collective enterprise. The Nishijin weavers' sense of betrayal is intensified by the breakdown of the paternalistic relationship between manufacturer and weaver. Nishijin craftspeople felt helpless in coming to terms with what they felt was betrayal by their employers.

Keywords: Nishijin craftspeople; manufacturers; identity; textile; Nishijin weavers; Nishijin women

Chapter.  7926 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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