Author: Matsumoto Toshio

The district in Kyoto where the flea market is situated is somewhat deteriorating. It is the centre of the old weaving industry, specialized in producing Japan’s national garment: the richly ornamented kimonos, made of silk, have their origin here. However, this age-old industry is struggling, since the Japanese population hardly wears kimonos anymore, let alone the precious silk ones. The silk production is gradually replaced by the cheaper textile industries like, for instance, cotton. Weavers, specialized in manual silk processing, have become rare. The employers are forced to automatize their looms because manual labour is too expensive. Perhaps for the last time, Matsumoto Toshio has been able to record the unique process of manual silk processing. The film shows the history of the Japanese weaving industry in unequivocal images, which makes it a reminder of the early documentaries by Joris Ivens.

— Text from International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2015

Black & white
35mm transferred to HD video
Digitized by Postwar Japan Moving Image Archive

For video’s call page, please click here.

Location Code: AV.MAT.NIS
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Year of Publication: 1961