2014 Kyoto Prize Laureate Fukumi Shimura
Living National Treasure Seeks to Keep the Tradition of Dyeing and Weaving Alive
Fukumi Shimura is not only the 2014 Arts and Philosophy Kyoto Prize Laureate, but was also certified by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a Living National Treasure in 1990. Born in 1924 and currently living in Kyoto, Ms. Shimura is a dyeing and weaving artist who went from studying the beauty of tsumugi kimono to developing her own original style of the art using a colorful range of plant-dyed yarns. She now teaches the traditional folk craft to others with her daughter, Yoko. The Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest private award for global achievement, was established by the Inamori Foundation in 1985 to honor those who have contributed signi cantly to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind. Ms. Shimura spoke with Tokyo Journal during her March 2015 visit to San Diego, California for the annual Kyoto Prize Symposium.