In Search of Forgotten Colours – Sachio Yoshioka and the Art of Natural Dyeing

This is a compendium of four short films with English subtitles. Sachio Yoshioka is the fifth-generation head of the Somenotsukasa Yoshioka dye workshop in Fushimi, southern Kyoto. When he succeeded to the family business in 1988, he abandoned the use of synthetic colours in favour of dyeing solely with plants and other natural materials. 30 years on, the workshop produces an extensive range of extremely beautiful colours. Mr Yoshioka generously made two gifts of naturally dyed textile and paper samples to the V&A in 2016 and 2017. The process of creating these samples was recorded for a documentary broadcast in Japan in May 2017. The programme also explored the background to Mr Yoshioka’s passion for natural dyeing and his long-standing quest to revive historical colours whose methods of making have been forgotten. The original footage from which the films have been compiled was taken using state-of-the-art 8K UHD (Ultra High Definition) technology developed by NHK Enterprises, Inc.The sequence of running is as follows: In Search of Forgotten Colours – 5’15” Beni Red (safflower; carthamus tinctorius) – 4’39” Paper Flowers and the Omizutori Ceremony – 3’15” Murasaki Purple (purple gromwell; lithospermum erythrorhizon) – 4’17” The V&A is grateful to NHK Enterprises, Inc. and Art True Film for permission to use this material.