Oimatsu (Elder Pine)
Hand Towels to be Used for Years to Come
Tenugui towels have been a part of Japanese life since the Heian Period. They've been used to dry one’s hands or face, to clean and even wrap. Delicately hand-crafted and dyed by artisans, each tenugui is designed to be used over and over, and will soften and age beautifully as they become part of your home and lifestyle.
This design features a pine tree whose thin branches stand strong. Because the pine stays green all year around it's a symbol of longevity and is commonly used in decorations around the new year. In the mid-1700s, Ranko Takakuwa penned the following haiku, which embodies everything we love about New Years in Japan: tranquility and calmness.
ganjitsu ya matsu shizuka naru higashiyama
New Year's Day / silent pine trees/ on Higashiyama
- Oimatsu (Elder Pine) design
- Dimensions: 36 x 90 cm (14 x 35 in)
- Material: 100% cotton
- Handmade in Japan
- Care: Wash separately with cold water and mild detergent. Expect mild color loss/bleeding at first. Edges are seamless and will fray with use. Trim any loose strings with scissors.
Founded in 1990, Kamawanu is a Tokyo-based company dedicated to preserving the craft and culture of tenugui towels. The company specializes in the “Chusen” dyeing technique, which dates back to Meiji-era Japan. Dye is poured on the cloth, soaking each strand of cotton all the way through and creating a finish that does not harden. The resulting patterns have no front or back, making the cloth reversible. Watch the video below to see how each towel is made.