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Shizuka Kusano is one of the most admired and recognized textile artists in Japan today. With the publication of The Fine Art of Kimono Embroidery, readers in the West will come to know and appreciate her work for its great beauty and grace. Kusano's canvases are kimono, obi (the sash used to tie the kimono) and tapestries, on which she creates extraordinary compositions in brilliant color and subtle tones, with a rich contrast in textures. Her themes are drawn from Japanese poetry, literature and art, and feature such seasonal motifs as trees, flowers, birds, and streams, designs which are uniquely Japanese in sensibility and expression. Working exclusively with silk threads and fabric, and delicately balancing the use of space in her composition, Kusano's designs achieve the sophistication for which the best Japanese art is known.
Selected works are shown here in full color with explanatory captions, while a separate section covers the primary techniques used on each piece. In addition, Kusano writes about how she developed her art, providing commentary on her themes and sources of inspiration. She also includes an essay on the history of embroidery in Japan from the time it was introduced into the country from China in the sixth century up to the present.