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Yukata from Abroad

Try your hand at kimono production and inspire the Arimatsu shibori community! Undertake this challenge to create a fresh and unique yukata just in time for the summer season.

Artisans in Arimatsu have crafted casual, unlined cotton kimonos called "yukata" since the Edo period, working each year to invent exciting new styles which will help them stand out against their competition during the short summer season. Arimatsu artisans are ingenious when it comes to inventing new techniques to both improve efficiency and wow their customers. 

Now it's your turn to try your hand at kimono production and inspire the Arimatsu shibori community! Undertake this challenge to create a fresh and unique summer outfit for display at the annual Arimatsu Shibori Festival with over 30,000 attendees, as well as the 11th International Shibori Symposium. Your design may even be adapted into next season's yukata production in Arimatsu!



Hiroshi Murase, Suzusan Ltd

Yoshiko Wada, Yoshiko Wada


Exhibiting Artists

Jennifer Cooper, "Plum Blossoms"

Fiona Crestani, "Summer Fly"

Katy Dolk-Ellis, "Dawn"

Ying Luo, "Between Similar and Unsimilar"

Sheri Levin McNerthney, "Arashiyama"

Leong Minyi, "Starry Starry Night"

Fabiana Persia, "Expansion"

Sylvia Riley, "Feathers"

Beverly Tu, "Distortion"

Guoxiang Yuan, "Rites of Bamboo"

Peiyang Zou, "Atlas"


How it Works

The Kimono Inspiration Challenge operates on a rolling submission basis. After submitting a design, the jury will take one week to render a decision. If your submission is accepted, the organizers in Arimatsu will ship you two bolts of plain white cotton yukata fabric (12m each) and illustrated instructions for constructing a yukata. You will have until the shipping deadline to process your fabric, troubleshoot design issues, and perfect your production techniques.

You must send at least one bolt of dyed fabric or one roughly basted dyed garment back to Arimatsu. We recommend shipping by 04 May at the latest to guarantee arrival by 11 May (and therefore, inclusion in the exhibition; late works may not be shown). 


Take notes or pictures of your process along the way, and send us an email after you ship your work with a short description of what your experience with the challenge was like. We'll display your comments alongside your work.

Upon arrival in Arimatsu, local artisans will sew your fabric together just in time to display at the annual Arimatsu Shibori Festival on the first weekend of June, followed by an exhibition at 11 ISS. Afterwards, the garments will go into the permanent collection of the Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori Kaikan.



1 week after submission – Jury decisions announced
2 weeks after decision Fabric and pattern arrives at your address
04 May – Ship by this date for on-time arrival
11 May – Fabric/garment must arrive in Arimatsu
25 May – Email comments to



02 June - 03 June
Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori Kaikan

26 June - 01 July
Takeda House


Terms and Conditions

Submitting an entry to this exhibition implies your agreement to all listed conditions. 11 ISS and its affiliates and partners (collectively, "the organizers") may photograph your work, and may distribute photographs including those you submit for purposes of publicity and accountability. The organizers may sell and distribute catalogs containing photographs of your work and photographs you submit. The organizers are not obligated to exhibit works which arrive late or differ substantially from the submitted design. The organizers are not responsible for damage or loss; you are responsible for obtaining your own insurance. Your design is considered a contribution to the Arimatsu-Narumi community and may be adapted or incorporated into designs by artisans and producers in Arimatsu-Narumi. The work you submit will become property of the Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori Kaikan and will not be returned.

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