Welcome to the Kubota Collection website!
The Kubota Collection consists of 104 kimono created over four decades by visionary Japanese artist Itchiku Kubota.
Kubota revived a sixteenth-century decorative technique known as tsujigahana (‘flowers at the crossroads’), and modernised it into ‘Itchiku tsujigahana’, his contemporary adaptation of this art form.
Sumptuously beautiful kimono, produced by the artist by using his own ‘Itchiku tsujigahana’ technique, expanded Kubota’s contemporary ideas of surface design and gave new meaning to the art of the kimono. These kimono were not restricted to wearable art: they were transformed into unique works of installation art, sometimes placed as key elements of a seemingly endless charmed landscape that stretched through light, time, space and season, sometimes separated for individual display and sometimes even draped as ceremonial robes on the performers in Noh, a traditional Japanese theatrical art form.
Taken as a whole, the Collection provides a retrospective look at the result of Kubota’s vivid and evocative imagination, from the ground-breaking individual kimono he produced in the late 1970s to the complex contiguous images of seasonal landscapes that he was crafting on oversize kimono until his death in 2003.
A central feature of the Kubota Collection is Symphony of Light, a group of 36 kimono that are linked compositionally, with the design of seasonal landscapes flowing from one garment to another. This consecutive sequence results in a panoramic display that moves and changes.
The Mount Fuji and Oceans series highlight Itchiku Kubota’s reverence for nature through two motifs that have been recurrent themes in Japanese art – Fuji, the iconic mountain, and water in its many forms.
The Collection also includes a group of individual kimono that reflect the development of Kubota’s design artistry over more than thirty years, offering a window into the depth and breadth of his design interpretations. One of the key pieces of individual kimono within the Kubota Collection is San, a reflection of the artist’s memories of the setting sun, which became an important motif in Kubota’s work.
Itchiku Kubota’s willingness to step outside the conventional boundaries of design, his distinctive use of colour and his intense commitment to his art and craft won him international recognition and encouraged a radical and transformative concept of the kimono as a work of art rather than simply as a beautiful garment to wear.
The Kubota Collection is housed in Itchiku Kubota Art Museum near Lake Kawaguchi, with a panoramic view of Itchiku’s beloved Mount Fuji. The structure and environment of the museum represent the artist’s unique worldview.
In 2011, the Kubota Collection was acquired by Dr. Patokh Chodiev, Founder of the International Chodiev Foundation and a long-time admirer of Japanese art and culture. Since then, the International Chodiev Foundation has been managing the international promotion and preservation of the Kubota Collection and the museum.