Maki Aizawa is committed to preserving a kimono sewing tradition that is disappearing. She wants to revitalize and celebrate the specialized hand skills and techniques of this tradition. Maki embraces the philosophy of minimizing waste and creating objects of enduring value that is embodied in the kimono making tradition.
Kimono-making has long been a part of Maki’s life. Her parents established the Aizawa Sendai Kimono Making/Training School in Sendai, Japan. Her mother, Tsuyo Onodera, a Master Kimono maker, ran the school with her husband. She has worked in the kimono industry for more than sixty years.
In 2012, under the guidance of her mother Tsuyo, Maki created a 25-hour workshop in which they taught and presented techniques and skills in the art of traditional kimono making. Since that time, Tsuyo and Maki have led multiple workshops teaching participants how to sew yukata, casual summer kimono, at the Workshop Residence in San Francisco and at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
The design and the theme of this book comes from the precise authentic practice of the kimono making process itself. Maki also believes that it is important not only to have a manual to show the ‘how’ but also feels it is necessary to imbue this process with its larger history, context and the project’s significance to her. For Maki, it contains her own childhood memories, emotions, and cultural nuance that one can only experience. This book aspires to translate this to its readers to give them the full experience of what it truly means to make a Kimono. Maki is currently creating this kimono making book with renowned German book artist, Veronika Schäpers.”