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Here we have collected a series of interesting stories from Yasujirō Yamaguchi that we did not have room to share with you in the main interview.

The British Royal Family and the Daffodil Pattern

In 1986 (Showa 61), Prince Charles and Princess Diana stayed in Kyoto during their visit to Japan. They attended a demonstration of Nishijin weaving conducted by Yasujirō, after which he presented them with Noh costumes.

Yasujirō’s gift was a brightly coloured kusakizome karaori, but the couple instead asked for a different karaori displayed nearby with a daffodil pattern. This was a replica of a work of Kagahyakumangoku Maeda passed down by the Hosho School.

Why did the want that particular pattern? While he had no idea for a long time, 16 years later in 2002 during his trip to the UK for “Japan 2001,” commemorating 400 years of exchange between Japan and the UK, he would find out.

“When I went in early spring of that year, the daffodils were planted around the streets of London. I guessed that the British winters must be quite long. The blooming daffodils were the British people’s way of greeting the long-expected spring. It was then that I understood why they chose the daffodil pattern.”

Conducting a demonstration of Nishijin weaving for the visiting British royal family in 1986.
Conducting a demonstration of Nishijin weaving for the visiting British royal family in 1986.

Photo: Shigeyoshi Ohi


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