In the early 1990s, I had the opportunity to live in Japan for 2.5 years because my husband was a pilot in the Air Force. I lived in an apartment in Ome city, about a 1 hour train ride north of Tokyo station. While there I worked part-time both for a Japanese hospital and a Japanese real-estate investment company. My favorite "job" however, was becoming a student of Japanese Embroidery. Kurenai-Kai, the Japanese Embroidery Center in Japan
is located in Chiba Prefecture which was almost three hours away from my home. Studying there was not an option since I could not get a train early enough to get there on time. I had a hard time finding information about the school...at the time, it wasn't listed in the phone book and a website hadn't yet been developed.
Interestingly enough, I had to call back to the United States to the Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta. They then gave me the number for the Japanese school and I was on my way! It turns out that they taught satellite classes in Toranemon, a district in downtown Tokyo...only 1 hour from my home!
Here's an excerpt from one of my letter's home describing my proposal to the school.
I signed up for my first class and the first phase, Hana-mi, or flower circle. Anyone studying phase I of Japanese Embroidery will remember this piece for it's taught around the world as an introductory piece.
Here are some pictures from my first few classes. The first pic is of me in class twisting thread. I'll post more next time about the actual class format and structure...