Yuzen Artist Akiyama Akira Collection

Akira Akiyama is known as Japan's most celebrated yuzen artist. His numerous bridal gowns have been worn by many brides at weddings in Japan, His artwork has played an important role in shaping the image of the beautiful Japanese bride.

yuzen artist


Akira Akiyama is one of Japan's leading Akira Akiyama is one of Japan's leading Hon Hand-painted Yuzen artists.

His numerous bridal gowns are a symbol of Japan's beautiful bridal culture, and their beauty and artistry have played an important role in spreading Japanese wedding culture throughout the world.

His work can be described as a true work of bridal costume art, worn by brides at weddings all over Japan and playing an important role in shaping the image of the Japanese bride today.

His bridal gowns are characterised by his unique style, which is based on the use of hon-hon hand-painted yuzen dyeing, hon-urushi lacquer, hon-kai raden (mother-of-pearl inlay), hon-kinpaku (gold leaf) and other materials. All of them are handmade, and it takes about three years to complete one garment.

He is loved not only by the bridal industry, but also by celebrities in the economic, entertainment and sports worlds, and more than 100 pairs of stars, including Shigeo Nagashima, Sadaharu Oh, Hiroshi Itsuki and Shin Takuma, have chosen his creations.

Born in 1931, Akira Akiyama studied dyeing crafts in 1949 and started his career in the manufacture of high-end yuzen wedding costumes.

In 1954, he founded Marusho Corporation, a company for the creation of high-end wedding costumes. Since then, he has held an annual exhibition of yuzen costumes in Kyoto.

In 1993, he organised a costume exhibition in Germany and donated his work; in 1995 he received the Traditional Culture Award. He is still active as a yuzen artist.

Message written by AKIYAMA AKIRA

Japanese Wedding Dress

What is Japanese Hanayome Dresses

The Japanese bridal costume is the kimono worn by the bride at a traditional Japanese wedding. The main elements are the shiro-muku kimono, obi, hair ornaments and accessories (sandals, tabi and fan).

There are two main types of Japanese bridal kimono. These are the shiro-muku (white kimono) and the iro-uchikake (coloured kimono). Shiro-muku is an all-white kimono. Shiko-uchikake is a glamorous kimono.

1. Shiro-Muku

Shiro-muku is made of white silk or habutae and the obi is tied at the waist. Flowers and kanzashi hairpins are used as hair ornaments. These elements reflect Japanese tradition and aesthetics and express the purity of the bride and the Japanese atmosphere.

2. Iro-Uchikake

Iro-Uchikake is a kimono worn by brides for special occasions at weddings and is characterised by its vivid patterns and embroidery. It expresses glamour and prestige and adds colour to the wedding ceremony and reception. Uchikake are a fascinating fusion of tradition and modernity, and add to the glamour of the wedding atmosphere.


Kyoto hand-painted yuzen is the culmination of a vast amount of handiwork, completed over a long period of time through the division of labour by a number of craftsmen, each specialising in a particular field. Some of the most typical processes are introduced here.

It is completed over a long period of time by a division of labour among 25 craftsmen, each with their own area of expertise.
If it is a bride's uchikake, it can take as early as six months to finish and as long as 900 days.

STEP 1. 下絵青花

Shitae Seika

Honyuzen is a typical technique of hand-painted yuzen, which uses itome nori (rubber glue) to prevent dyeing, so that only the traces of the glue remain white. The process of "Shitae Seika" is to draw the pattern on which this rubber glue is placed. A solution made by soaking Japanese paper in the juice of blue flowers, a member of the daylily family, is used. The nature of aohana, which disappears when dipped in water, makes it ideal for underglaze painting. The process of washing off the aohana in running water after the rubber glue has been placed is called "Seika Chirashi".

STEP 2. 挿し友禅

Sashi Yuzen

The supple and strong Koma-Shioze habutae fabric is difficult for dyes to penetrate. For this reason, only the owners of selected brush-working techniques are able to make the colours darker, deeper and more beautiful. The 'yuzen-shi', who proceed with beautiful blending dyeing without crossing the threads that act as a dike, is the flower of yuzen. This work largely determines whether the yuzen is successful or not, and is a showcase of the artisanal skills of those who have dedicated themselves to the art.

STEP 3. 金彩工芸

Kinsai Kougei

The work of gilded craftsmen in gold leaf, mother-of-pearl inlays (raden) and wurikin-sago is the lifeblood of uchikake's prestige and luxury. The "edami-kiri" technique, in which special tape is applied to the fabric and only the area to be processed is cut out with a small knife, is a skillful technique in which only the tape is cut without damaging the fabric. Lacquer glue is then applied, the tape is peeled off and allowed to dry, the edging is cut again, foil is applied and lacquer glue is applied over the top. This process is repeated many times in the complex work of gilding.


Akira Akiyama is known as Japan's most celebrated yuzen artist. His numerous bridal gowns have been worn by many brides at weddings in Japan, His artwork has played an important role in shaping the image of the beautiful Japanese bride. Akira Akiyama's many works have spread Japanese wedding culture throughout the world, The role of the Akiyama Collection is to make the beautiful bride culture of Japan known to as many people as possible.



Gold-coloured craft uchikake 'Taikan'. The pine tree is a symbol of Japan and a symbol of longevity, as in the ancient song "Midori (green) for a thousand years". The everlasting green signifies prosperity, and is a tribute to the ever-changing strength and fullness of the four seasons, and to deep peace. The Koma Haniwa ground is beautifully decorated with real lacquer and layers of gold leaf, on which the green pine trees are painted one brushstroke at a time. The name "Tai-kan" combines elegance and splendour, and is a top-quality piece of clothing to celebrate the bride's departure from the wedding.



Ground colour of the auspicious colour 'black'. Carefully dyed on a white ground of fine silk. Seasonal flowers painted in gold. By depicting them in large blossoms, the artist wishes them to bloom gorgeously in life. The painting of a flower wheel on the central dolly expresses the wish that many people will receive happiness and congratulations. The inscription "KOUJYUKAN" is a one-of-a-kind piece, characterised by the traditional and careful craftsmanship of the handwork technique, mother-of-pearl inlay.













翆 苑


Contact Us

The museum has a large collection of Akiyama's numerous works. For enquiries about exhibitions, sales and rentals, please contact

Company Name Carocara,inc.
Address 72 Yamadamachi Kaga Ishikawa Japan 922-0431 [MAP]
URL https://www.carocara.com/
TEL +81-761-74-8886
Contact form https://www.carocara.com/contact/