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Yusai Okuda - The Dye Master

Yusai was born into a generations-old family of dye masters in 1950 in Kumano, Mie Prefecture. He followed his studies of art and engraving with Western and Japanese clothing design and Kyoto-style dye. In 1980 he formed the Yusai Dyeing Laboratory where he perfected a number of new techniques.

In 1990, Yusai succeeded in recreating the mysterious Korozen dye, and in 1992 he developed a dye technique known as Yume-Korozome after researching the clothing of former Emperors in Kyoto’s Koryuji. Based on the light source, colors change and Yusai believes this phenomenon is part of Japan’s culture and tradition of “simple refinement”, as in the perceived beauty of the changing seasons. In 2003 Yusai established Arashiyama Yusaitei, his workshop in Arashiyama. This is one of the most beautiful of Kyoto’s scenic locations. The building holds over 130 years of history.

Yusai produced the stage set for a Korean drama and a costume for Taichi Saotome in 2005, which were followed by an appearance in a Sony TV ad in 2007. The Louvre was the site for a design exhibition in 2008, and the Kumano Cultural Center for a dye exhibition in 2009. 2010 saw a Yume-Korozome show dedicated to the old imperial palace of Daikakuji.

Yusai’s constant efforts to undertake new challenges have had a major effect on the dye industry.


In sunlight

From Culture to a New Fashion Style

To bring his work to those of discerning taste world-wide Yusai has now produced a range of the highest quality hand-dyed silk dresses, blouses and scarves. Unique and painstakingly finished, each reflects the rich culture and history of Japan. The completely Made-in-Kyoto product comes with a guarantee card which is signed and numbered, and epitomizes the skills of Japanese craftsmen. Never again will one be satisfied by the ordinary.