Visit to Setagaya Boro-Ichi

Setagaya Boro-ichi is the oldest flea market in Tokyo and takes place on 15/16th December and 15/16th January every year. This market has taken place since 16th century and the name comes from the mid-Edo era when there was a flourishing trade of boro, or scraps of cloth, for patching farming clothes.

This year I decided to visit the market on 16th January, which turned out to be the coldest day of the year so far! Luckily, I got there early before the crowds and was able to browse through some stalls of old kimonos at my leisure. I found the prices rather inflated and could not afford the Boro boro I spotted so I contented myself with photographing it instead!

I did come away with several second-hand silk kimonos which had seen better days but I plan to re-purpose the lovely fabrics at a later stage!

I also bought a pile of sheets of something, which I think is raw silk washi but I need to investigate further. It is very delicate but beautiful and I can see uses for it later on in my creative textiles journey.

I didn’t come away empty-handed but was glad to leave early as I couldn’t feel my fingers and by mid-day the crowds lessened my enjoyment of the market! Despite the hype around the market, I prefer some of the other more regular markets in Tokyo, where it is more relaxing and the stall-holders more friendly!

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