Maki is an executive director of amu: weaving together with arts, cultures and communities, a non-profit unit. Amu, from the Japanese word meaning to weave, envisions a future where traditional arts are a vital civic thread. We hope to celebrate, preserve and adapt long traditions to enrich diverse communities.
Kamiko is committed to preserving a garment-creating tradition that is being lost. We honor and celebrate the community of craftspeople who draw on centuries-old knowledge as well as contemporary artistic design to create unique kimonos and other one-of-a-kind garments.
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.
A five minute film of the performance “Bunraku Ningyo Awakenings” by Bunraku puppet master Kanroku and his company, Mokugu-sha, organized by Maki Aizawa for the University of Southern California: Visions and Voices in January 2019.
A 25-hour workshop created by Maki Aizawa and let by Master Kimono Maker, Tsuyo Onodera, to present the techniques and skills in the art of traditional kimono making workshops held at Workshop Residence and San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
The art of paper making has been practiced since the Heian period in Japan. Washi, handmade Japanese paper, was called ‘Michinoku-gami’ in the Tohoku region. Shiroishi washi is produced in Shiroishi city in Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. It has been a specialty product of Shiroishi since the Edo period.
A three minute film of Maki Aizawa’s installations for “Surviving Tsunami Waves: the Exhibition of Resilience through Arts and Narrative,” (survivingtsunami.com) sponsored by Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine, Rochester Art Center (RAC) and University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) held in March 2015.
Senninbari means “Thousand Person Stitches”. The Japanese believe that a garment sewn by many people becomes an amulet, protecting the wearer from danger and clothing them in prayers. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated part of her home region, Maki and her mother, Tsuyo Onodera created a project to bring together women who had lost everything and teach them sewing skills so they could have a source of income, but even more importantly a connection with others.
Maki and her mother Tsuyo Onodera, a Master Kimono Maker, spent several months as artists-in residence at the Workshop Residence in Dogpatch, San Francisco in 2013. They led a four-day yukata (casual summer kimono) making workshop.