Takako Sako and the “Costume of Kabuki” Beaded Kimono

At this year’s Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee WI there was a large contingent of Japanese beaders and an amazing Japanese Exhibit featuring this beautiful kimono.

Takako Sako and her beaded kimono.
Takako Sako and her beaded kimono.

Entitled “Costume of Kabuki” this kimono was designed and handmade by Takako Sako, one of Japan’s premier bead weavers. The kimono is a life-size reproduction of the stage costume of Shizuka Gozen in Japanese traditional Kabuki Theater, program of Funa Benkei. It took two years to design and make, using over 2.1 million MIYUKI Delicas, in 226 different colors and weighing 14 kg (over 30 lbs.). The kimono will be donated to the Kabuki Theater after the 2013 Bead&Button Show.

Bonita with Takako Sako in front of her kimono

The 2013 Bead and Button Show was the last overseas opportunity to see the kimono. Takako Sako’ outstanding work and artistry inspired and delighted the Show attendees. To quote the artist: “I love beads so much! I wanted to share all the happiness and excitement of creating bead weaving with many people around the world!”

For over 30 years, Takako has been designing bead weaving art for NHK Culture School. Students have come to appreciate the steady attention she gives to new techniques and glamorous designs. Since childhood, Takako has loved to draw and make beadwork, winning awards along the way. Her interest in Japanese culture, flower arranging, and the art of the tea ceremony have all contributed to the inspiration in her beadwork. She has authored and published 12 books, many in English and French. Her work has been exhibited in the US, UK, and Germany. Takako Sako was presented with an Outstanding Artistic Achievement award at the Bead Social, Saturday, June 8 2013 by Bead&Button.

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