Founder Heizo Tatsumura brought a revolution to the world of textiles.
Steeped in the research of traditional textiles such as Kodaigire taught at Horyuji Temple and the Shosoin Repository (at the Todaiji Temple, Nara), his
work can be described as the pinnacle of dyeing and weaving textile techniques, which he preserved and elevated to the level of an art.
When Tatsumura was 16, he started on his path in the kimono sales business in Nishijin, Kyoto and gradually grew more and more immersed in the
research of kimono textile weaving techniques. He set out on his own as an independent textile manufacturer at the age of 18 in 1894 (the 27th year of
the Meiji period).
As his sales grew, he took out patents for numerous techniques such as Takanami Ori Weave and Kokechi Ori Weave, amazing his counterparts in the
process as he was barely over the age of 30.
Tatsumura recruited many young designers who possessed a wealth of artistic sensibility. This was unprecedented in the textile industry at the time,
and led to fostering the famous modernist Insho Domoto (1891-1975) and a number of other distinguished figures in the Japanese art world who
produced many remarkable designs.
The great writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa boosted Tatsumura to lasting fame when describing his works as having "astounding artistic sense." This
helped lead "textile art" to become established in broader society.
In his research on what are called “famed fabrics” (meibutsugire), Tatsumura restored some 70 precious textiles. His contributions helped the
proliferation of Japanese textile art. His field of activity broadened worldwide when he took orders for material from notable international designers
such as Christian Dior. In 1956, he received the Imperial Award at the age of 80 from the Japan Art Academy. The award was given to honor
Tatsumura's many achievements that helped open new possibilities in the world of textile craftsmanship. Working in the traditional environs of the
Nishijin neighborhood of Kyoto, Tatsumura's continuously novel ideas and mastery of innovative techniques broke new ground in his field. His
predilection for the phrase "weave [designs] of the future by knowing [designs] of the past" expressed the unaltered passion and fervor that he
possessed for a lifetime dedicated to the beauty of textiles.
His works, which included obi (sash belts), furnishings for cultural artifacts, and decorations for special festivals, have been praised for the level of their
technique and artistic quality. They have also been incorporated in numerous industrial materials such as train car and aircraft seats. It is truly the
chronicle of a brand that has embodied "knowing the past in order to create the future."