Tsuyo Onodera, a master kimono maker, has been in the kimono industry for more than fifty years. She has trained hundreds of students to become licensed kimono makers through five-year apprenticeships at her school in Sendai, Japan.
Tsuyo and her daughter, Maki Aizawa 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 kimono fabric comes in rolls called tanmono that are 36 cm (14″) wide by 12 meters (40’) long. Tsuyo and Maki mark the yukata design directly onto these rolls in an age-old design process in which every single piece of material on them is utilized.
In Sonoma, as a special program, students dye the tanmono in natural indigo dye under the guidance of owner/farmer/artist Kakuo Kaji of BUAISOU from Tokushima, Japan. This program includes further instruction by Tsuyo in the art of sewing kimono.
Tsuyo and Maki are passionate about keeping these authentic traditions alive through teaching more upcoming kimono related classes.