Boro – Ragged Beauty

boro“: a Japanese term referring to the state of objects that have been used, broken, or worn to tatters, then extensively repaired and used beyond their expected life cycle.

exhibition. essays. book forthcoming.




video clip of yoshiko and kim schuefftan


A study of boro from a broad perspective to a narrower, more intimate view — social and cultural behaviors eg social stratification, agriculture, economy, and trade, to personal values and relationships. A study in material culture; in the economy of material; and a study of notions of imperfect beauty.

Wada, Y.I. “Ragged Beauty: Repair and Reuse, Past and Present.” An essay and curation for Museum of Craft and Folk Art, Vol.20, no.2, CA, U.S.: MOCFA, 2004. view pdf


exhibition. essays. book forthcoming.


Meisen: Popular Textiles for Women in the First Half of Twentieth Century Japan. A study of meisen — warp or weft patterned silk or synthetic cloth patterned with bright colors and bold designs. The conspicuously popular aesthetic of this textile, considered “moderne” or “mod,” set meisen designs apart from the rest of Japanese traditional textiles, generally known for their sophistication and subtlety, in a way that puzzles today’s viewers, both Japanese and Western.


Research conducted with Masanao Arai (Researcher, Textile Industry Reaserach Institute of Guma Prefecture) and Kazuo Mutoh (founder, Kiryu Orijuku Textile Archive and Study Center).