Nagakusa embroidery Studio was officially established in 1933 by a group of artisans in the purpose of research, design and production of embroidery products. At the very beginning, the factory was producing a dyed, woven and embroidery products and changed to an embroidery production-base Studio since 1940. Today the factory is run by the second generation, Toshiaki Nagakusa and his wife Sumie Nagakusa, who continue producing embroidery products and fine pieces of arts such as Japanese traditional attires, Noh and Kabuki costumes, accessories, decorative artworks and tapestries for festivals all over Japan. Up until now, the factory has experienced many cross-continental collaborations with renown international fashion houses like Hermes or dress productions for a Paris collection with Jean-Louis Scherrer. From those decades of experiences and generation-to-generation skills and techniques, the studio is trusted by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affair and many art collectors to repair and re-produce numbers of Japanese significant treasures such as a tapestry for Gion Matsuri which was listed on the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Kyonui (京繍）; Kyoto style embroidery) has a long history of its heritage can be traced to 1200 years back in Heian period, the era of cultural movements and it was marked as the blooming of Japanese culture, many traditions from the era are considered the cornerstone of Japanese culture as we see today. Same as Kyo-nui which is one of Japanese traditional crafts, which can be traced back to Asuka period (550-710 CE) brought to Japan as a Shubutsu (an embroidery depicted a Buddhist images). After the Asuka period many embroidery works such as Noh costumes, Kosode (Short sleeve kimono) were produced and further developed into attires like Kimonos. Kyonui initially based on a Kyoto style pattern and fabric with variations of colors and techniques combined with great harmony into gorgeous products of delicacy.
Toshiaki Nagakusa was born in 1948 in the town of textile "Nishijin” in Kyoto. After graduated from university he started to continued his family business and become embroidery artist. He used at traditional Japanese embroidery technique call “Kyo-nui ” to making a small accessories and also a large embroidery art works. His masterpieces knows as Noh costumes, a ten years production of 130 pieces of Noh headband (Katsura- obi).In 1994 he exhibited his Noh costume and Kosode in “Paris - Kyoto-Paris”exhibition at Bagatelle castle and made a display for Hermes in 1995, work with Jean-Louis Scherrer ’s collection in 2000. His previous work are include repairing/reproduction Japanese cultural properties like a tapestry for Gion-matsuri.
Sumie Nagakusa was born in Nishijin, Kyoto, after finished learning Kyo-nui (Kyoto style embroidery). She held her professional career together with her husband, Toshiaki Nagakusa. Since then, she have been continued to produce various tradition products and art works like Kimono, Obi-sash, and Bag etc. Sumie Nagakusa masterpiece is a half collar works in theme of the tale of Genji, which is widely recognized not only in Japan but also in Global scale.In 2011, she was honored with a Kimono Culture award from The Cultural Foundation for Promoting the National Costume of Japan.