Reaching back into Kiryu history, it has been discovered that about 2,500
years ago Kiryu was the site of Jomon Period settlements which specialized
in the production of elaborate clay ear ornaments.
This tradition of skilled craftsmen has been carried on through the Heian
Period when hand weaving was taken up as a local industry, a skill introduced
to the peasants by Princess Shirataki.
Over the centuries, as various technological innovations were introduced, this cottage industry gave way to large scale manufacturing and Kiryu flourished as a major textile producing center.
As the information age dawns on Kiryu, and technological forces generate
a new worldwide culture in which uniqueness and quality are sacrificed
to the goals of faster and larger production, the craftsmen of Kiryu steadfastly
maintain the local standards for high quality and innovativeness.