The technique of dying with indigo in Japan goes back to the 7th Century where it was introduced from India via the Silk Road. Japanese indigo dyeing, known as Aizome, started as a luxury for the aristocratic and samurai classes. By the 19th Century indigo-dyed cloth had become so prevalent that, upon Japan's opening to the West in 1853, one English observer saw enough of the hue to term it "Japan Blue."
Founded in 2012 by two Japanese indigo farmers and dyers — Kenta Watanabe and Kakuo Kaji Tokushima — Buaisou is renowned for its indigo leaf farming, and for its tradition of composting the indigo leaves into sukumo. Based in Kyoto, Buaisou continues this centuries-old technique for a select clientele.
Using an traditional method of fermenting sukumo in ash lye, calcium hydroxide, and wheat bran, Buaisou creates a so-called "hell vat." The garments dyed in this 100% natural vat turn into deep and luminous "Japan Blue," and they can immediately be washed with other white garments without staining other garments. Indigo-dyed garments have also long been prized for the compound's natural ability to ward of insects and soothe skin.
Having Yuki Ken and Yuya Miura on board, Buaisou is now a team of four artisans who are preserving the tradition of Japanese indigo, and strives to bring new vitality to "Japan Blue," through artistic and functional creations.