Johor weaving to be promoted at Japanese trade show

Shahril Nizam showing the kain songket Johor with Tanjung Piai motif represented by ferns on the kepala (head) of the songket.

JOHOR BARU: Johor Heritage Foundation (YWJ) will promote kain benang and songket Johor to the Japanese people during its roadshow to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Its director Shahril Nizam Abdul Rahim said the roadshow would be held in April in Tokyo, and at a later date in Kyoto, Osaka.

He said YWJ was invited by the Japan Foundation to showcase the kain benang Johor or also known as tenun corak Muar (chequered pattern).

The Japan Foundation is tasked with undertaking international cultural exchange programmes between Japan and other countries.

“It is a good platform to promote our art and cultural heritage of weaving in Johor not only to the Japanese audience but also the international visitors there, ” said Shahril Nizam.

He said YWJ would take part in the 5th Textile Tokyo, a trade show that showcases various kinds of textiles and materials, which is being held as part of the Fashion World Tokyo 2020 from April 1-3.

Shahril Nizam said the event offered a good opportunity not only to promote kain benang and songket Johor but also the state’s many attractions to visitors in conjunction with Visit Johor 2020.

“Presently, we are focusing more on promoting tenun corak Muar, a design named after the Muar district, as the identity of kain tenun Johor, ’’ he said.

Bandar Maharani in Muar was officially opened in 1887 and declared a Johor Royal town by the present Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar in 2012.

Shahril Nizam said among the motifs for Johor’s tenun corak Muar produced by Galeri Tenun Johor at YWJ were black pepper, gambier, bunga melor (jasmine), bunga tanjung (bullet wood), tampuk manggis (mangosteen calyx) and buah kesemek (persimmon).

“Galeri Tenun Johor was set up at the request of Sultan Ibrahim who wanted to see the revival of the art of weaving in Johor, ” he said.

Shahril Nizam said unlike Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang, Johor was not that well-known for its weaving activities and many people were unaware that it was part of the state’s culture.

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