Embroidery techniques were brought to Japan from China through Korea and has developed during the passage of more then a thousand years, into techniques that are now typically Japanese. Until the 19th century, Japan experienced a unique long isolation from the rest of the world, a circumstance conducive to introspection. This has been highly favorable to the development of embroidery technique. Tradition is the crystallization of the experience of a countless number of unknown predecessors, their devices, and their wisdom. For this reason tradition is called "cultural heritage."
Recently, the techniques of traditional Japanese embroidery awakened from a long isolation and took a new step forward, sharing the tradition with people all over the world. This began in 1980 with the exhibiting of several works from the Kurenai-Kai workshop at the national seminar of the Embroiderers' Guild of America in Dallas, Texas. After that, twice a year, Japanese teachers went to the United States and taught in several places. The year 1991 saw the beginning of the Japanese Embroidery Center: Kurenai-Kai, Ltd., a nonprofit, educational organization, in Atlanta, Georgia. American teachers are conducting classes in thirty-two places in the United States and four other countries. These teachers have all had more than ten years of experience, and the students who participate come from a total of twelve different countries. Because of the willingness of the American teachers to give up their other pursuits and concentrate only on Japanese embroidery, both physically and spiritually, and their dedication to making this their life work, others have been able to share in their experience, and this embroidery circle is quietly expanding.
The desire of the Japanese Embroidery Center is not the restriction of Japanese embroidery to its parent country, to maintain its scarcity and value, nor self-aggrandizement by teaching in foreign countries. Its desire is, instead, the realization of the wish of the founder of Kurenai-Kai, that the quality of the work will be ever-deepening, and that this cultural heritage will become the common property of the world.
The Japanese Embroidery Center
2727 Spalding Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30350 USA