JAPAN: What Price Honor?

About 50 Japanese have been declared to be "living cultural assets." Among them are Kabuki and no actors, potters and painters, and even a couple of old folks who know how to do Kurume-gasuri, a rare, 150-year-old hand-weaving process using white cotton threads and blue dye to produce unique dappled patterns. Tomikichi Moriyama, 70, and his wife Toyono, 67, hand weavers, were delighted with the honor when it came two years ago. After all, only ten other weavers in Japan—most now too old for work—knew Kurume-gasuri] the Moriyamas' son Torao, like most...

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