1st Place, Professional Japanese Embroidery

During the last 1000 years more than 100 kinds of Shishimai has been carried out in Japan. The play, when the wooden mask is worn, is called Shishimai (Lion Head). The Lion Dancer is used when people pray for a good harvest, to purify their spirit, and to drive out evil spirits. There are many variations of the mask, but this is an embroidery of the Gold Shishi (mask).

I was fortunate to study with a sensi in Kyoto. He is from an entirely different school of Japanese Embroidery, and therefore many of the techniques here displayed do not conform to our current perception of Japanese Embroidery. For example, the foundation is much thinner, not worrying about the ground fabric showing through. Note that there is no open point open spaces between elements. The geometric design is not carefully measured on the fabric but done more realistic by following pre-drawn lines. It is an illustration of one more way of doing an ancient and revered technique, known to us as Japanese Embroidery.