Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2018 -- Japan Part I

I have just gotten home from a wonderful trip to Japan.  I'm still sorting through my photos and my impressions.  Japan has natural beauty, stirring history, great serenity and amazing bustle.  It is very modern and at the same time very traditional.  All of these things combine to make it a fascinating place to visit.  I plan to write a series of posts about my experiences, but the first has to be about my primary reason for visiting Japan in the cold month of January:  the Tokyo Quilt Show, or according to the catalog, the "Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2018. "

The show is held at the Tokyo Dome in the heart of Tokyo.  We stayed at the Tokyo Dome Hotel, very handy for attending the show.  We headed over and got in line before the doors opened.
The Tokyo Dome is the home of the Yomiuri Giants baseball club.  The show is held at field level. You enter the stadium in the bleachers and walk down the steps to the field.  It was an impressive sight.
Although I had been warned about the massive crowds, at opening it wasn't terribly crowded.  I decided to cruise the vendors quickly before seeing the quilts.
I bought some pieces of old kimono silk, a woodblock print scarf and a bit of cotton dobby.  I love the feel and texture of dobby cloth.

After a quick spin through the vendors, I decided to view the quilts.  And I realized that the stadium had filled up.  There was literally a sea of people flowing down the aisles.
Which made photographing the quilts very difficult.  But I persevered.  A few of my favorites are below.  But I'd like to mention that most of the signs were in Japanese kanji.  A few had names and titles in English.  I've given credit where I can.

I'd also like to mention that the aisles were narrow and there were no ropes or barriers in front of the quilts.  You could get right up to them and look closely.

This was perhaps my favorite quilt in the show.  It was in the original design category, maker and title unknown:
It was an interesting mix of piecing and appliqué:
I loved "Firefly" by Satoko Okamura, but couldn't get a full, unobstructed shot of it.  It featured rough cottons, gauzy overlays and a great deal of hand stitching:
Detail shots:
The second place winner in original design was by Emiko Yakushiji:
First place in original design was "Fish and Chips" by Jim Hay, an Australian quilter and fellow SAQA member:
 "MOKA" by Jiang Ying:
My favorite group of quilts was the "Wa" category.  Wa was explained to me as "the essence of Japanese."  Maker and title unknown:
Also in the "Wa" category.  Maker and title unknown:
I loved this exuberant green quilt! Maker and title unknown:
There was a mola special exhibit.  This is part of a piece called "People around the world":
And a few more pieces from the exhibit:
This is "Samite" by Kiyoko Harada:
 This quilt won an award, but the sign was in Japanese:
 Another winner:
 "Philanthropy" by Etsuko Ishitobi:
"The Moon and Me" by Yoneko Maruya:
 "Wave" by Yoko Ueda:
"Dancing Ginko Trees."  The title was in English, the maker's name was in kanji.
 Another quilt in the "Wa" category, maker and title unknown:
"My Memory" in the "Wa" category.  Maker unknown:
f (time), maker unknown:
A detail of f (time):
This quilt made me smile, even if I couldn't read the sign:
A detail shot of those happy little faces:
"Winter Journey" by Emiko Toda Loeb was hung so that you could see both the front and the back.  Here is the front:
Would it be wrong of me to say I liked the back best?  Here it is:
 I loved this one in the Original Design Category.  Maker and title unknown:
 And another in the Original Design Category.  Once again, the sign was in kanji:
I really loved the quilts in the Junior Art Category.  This is "My Face 2" by the chiku chiku club cuddly brown:
I didn't even attempt to photograph the quilts in the Framed Quilt Category and the Bag Category.  By the time I got over there, it was much too crowded.

One of my very favorite things about the show was lunch.  There were vendors selling Bento boxes on the show floor.  You selected from a variety of boxes and took your box up to the stands to eat.  And, because the Tokyo Dome is a baseball stadium, the boxes had a baseball theme.  When I got to the front of the very long line, I pretty much did an "eenie meenie minie mo" and pointed to a box.  I had no idea what was inside.

Everything was delicious!  It had a chicken meatball (center), breaded pork, ziti with spaghetti sauce, rice with curry sauce, rice with corn, a little bit of roasted chicken, a corn muffin, a salad with greens and corn and what seemed to be corn with ketchup on top.   It had a definite corn theme.

The show was wonderful, inspirational and absolutely crazy.  I hope I get a chance to go back someday!


Pattie said…
Looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your pictures.
Norma Schlager said…
Thanks for sharing these wonderful quilts. TheJapanese are fabulous quilters. There are always a lot at the Houston show.