- Asa: Taima,Choma -
Hemp and Ramie
Hemp and ramie are two kinds of plant bast fibers.
They are also known as asa in Japan.
Asa was still in use when cotton started spreading throughout Japan.
Ramie is a perennial plant. The ramie field is reduced to ash every year and gets harvested again.
Historically, the usage of ramie was as constant as hemp. Like hemp, ramie was made into thread by hand starting 6000 years ago through to the beginning of Showa period. Presently, asa is mainly machine spun.
Ramie cultivation and textile production reached its peak, both in quantity and quality, in the Edo period. Nara Sarashi, Echigo Jofu, Oumi Jofu and Miyako Jofu are known as the Edo’s big quartet.
These four production centers competed vigorously with one another, and consequently worked hard to distinguish their textiles from each other.
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