About OSHIBORI Linkage
There are probably few people living in Japan who have never used an oshibori, a small, moderately moistened towel served in restaurants for guests to wipe their hands. The origin of this practice is said to date back to the Heian or Edo period, according to one theory. Despite its humble existence, oshibori have the power to relieve tension, soothe fatigue, and invigorate the spirit of guests. It is not only a traditional tool for hand hygiene; offering a source of coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter, it is also filled with the spirit of Japanese hospitality. But its existence is still unknown outside of Japan.
OSHIBORI Linkage is an attempt to bring the intimate experience of diverse expressions that transcend national borders to the capital city of Tokyo by using oshibori as a small canvas. The embroidered oshibori, based on original artworks by selected artists, will be served in restaurants and other establishments mixed in with plain hand towels. Customers visiting the venues will surely enjoy chance encounters with these small works of art. Since the oshibori are also reusable items that are environmentally friendly, people will encounter these works repeatedly throughout the exhibition period, which will conclude with an exhibition that brings them together in a special venue.
“Linkage” is both the theme of Tokyo Biennale 2023 and the generic name for the projects that will be developed for the Biennale. OSHIBORI Linkage will connect the expressions of artists from around the world to Tokyo and explore new forms of connection between food culture and art, which has long been nurtured in Japan. Furthermore, by transforming oshibori into works of art, this project aims to draw attention to the Japanese culture of oshibori and to promote the spirit of oshibori hospitality around the world, establishing oshibori as an internationally recognized term.
Oshibori culture, which has taken root in Japan since ancient times, is steeped in the spirit of hospitality that seeks to cleanse the body of guests and relieve fatigue. Thus far, we have expanded the benefits of oshibori by adding value according to TPO (time, place, occasion), such as fragrance, temperature, and antiviral function. Now, a completely new value will be added to oshibori: art. We are excited to see what kind of chemical reaction will take place.
We are confident that OSHIBORI Linkage will be the first step toward fulfilling our long-held vision of opening the door to the world for oshibori.
Executive Committee of the Project to Make OSHIBORI an Internationally Recognized Term
(chairman: Katsuyuki Fujinami [President & CEO, FSX, Inc.])
Experience embroidered oshibori: September 1 – November 5
Exhibition of embroidered oshibori:
Venue 1 / MUJI Ginza: September 29 – November 5
Venue 2 / Étoile Kaito Living: September 23 – November 5
Crowdfunding by Executive Committee of the Project to Make OSHIBORI an Internationally Recognized Term is underway.
Please support us!
September 4 - October 31, 23:00(Japan time zone)
Tokyo Biennale Executive Office
2F Hasegawa Building, 6-12-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku , Tokyo
©2023 OSHIBORI Linkage