HOSOO GALLERY introduces HOSOO STUDIES to conducti multifaceted research on human and the history of textiles.

The first installment “THE STORY OF JAPANESE TEXTILES” is launched as an online exhibition using Instagram as its platform on June 12, 2020.

“THE STORY OF JAPANESE TEXTILES” is a project by Masataka Hosoo, the 12th generation of HOSOO, a family run Nishijin textile weaving house in Kyoto. Hosoo visited 33 textile origin sites of Japan over a period of four years. Embarking on a visit to Okinawa in 2015 and onward to Attusi in Hokkaido in 2019, it was completed as a magnificent story of traveling all over Japan. We will carefully select imagery from the 20,000 photographs taken on the ground and accompany them with reflections in the caption. This online exhibition can be experienced over the course of about one year through daily posts on Instagram. We hope you enjoy the Japanese dyeing and weaving culture and the origin of cloths nurtured by local histories and climates— from a new perspective while staying at home.

Online Exhibition


Textile weaving has been evolving in Kyoto for about 1200 years since antiquity of the Heiankyo era. As the finest woven fabrics of the world made their way into Kyoto throughout history, craftsmen have researched them to in turn develop Japan’s own textiles.

Nishijin textiles overflow with the finest techniques extracted from those fabrics of the world and have achieved various developments with the times. As typified by the introduction of Jacquard looms in the Meiji era, textiles evolved alongside technology.

The history of humans and cloth is vast, and cloth has long served the human body.
In this sense, cloth is the most familiar and fundamental companion for humans.
The history of textiles is also the history of humans and of techne (technology and art).

Considering the advancement of technologies of today we re-examine the question, “What does it mean to be human?”— with textile as the cornerstone.
What is the origin of cloth? What are the theories behind the techne that support the creation of fabrics? What functions have humans entrusted to cloth?
The pursuit in understanding textiles can take us in many directions.

In order to address these questions, not only in Japan, but also in the survey of cloths and materials around the world, we must investigate the experiences passed through the oral history and physical knowledge of craftsmen in many varying climates. After collecting and collaborating with researchers in various fields, we can explore the question “What is cloth for humans?” from a modern perspective.