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About Us

Kimonoboy is our company name. We are an online dealer of antique and vintage Japanese folk textiles with a specialty in mid 1800s to early 1900s cotton boro futon covers, peasant & farmer clothing and other early textiles.

Company Mission

To encourage people throughout the world to learn about and appreciate the magnificent character of early Japanese folk textiles and related Japanese artifacts.

Management & Staff

Jim & Akiko Austin
Jim and Akiko Austin. We own the company.
Akiko has been interested in textiles for more years than she cares to remember. It all started in 1999 when my mother presented her with an American quilt top. She had not seen such a textile before but from that point onward, Akiko became fascinated with the stories behind historic American textiles. Over subsequent years, we made countless buying trips to the USA rigorously searching through dealer stalls at the large antique shows in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, for special quilts, feedsacks from the 1930s and much older fabrics. Akiko loved them all and was thrilled beyond my understanding every time she discovered a special textile. With the knowledge she gained from American textile collecting, she had a natural segue into the appreciation of her own country's historic folk textiles, especially indigo cottons and hemps.

As Akiko became an expert in American and Japanese textiles, I seemed to learn about Japanese folk textiles simply through close proximity to her. I have grown to admire all the captivating subtleties, complexities, and refined skills of early Japanese textile production; spinning, looming, dyeing, and design.

Japanese Textiles
Akiko & I are grateful for the superb skills of our trusted staff.

Yuki-san: Hand Repairs
Favorite thought about Japanese folk textiles, "I am regularly in awe of how hundreds of years ago people, with such limited resources and with such precise techniques, were able to create these wonderful textiles".

Miki-san: Ironing, Quality Control
Favorite thought about Japanese folk textiles, "Even though I am Japanese, I knew very little about these folk textiles before working at kimonoboy. I'm thrilled to be able to experience vicariously the cultural history of Japan every time I touch an old piece of fabric".

Where We Find Our Textiles

We acquire our textiles at auctions, estate sales, antique shows and Buddhist temple flea markets.

Life in Japan

I came to Japan 20 years ago to study Japanese for personal interest. Shortly after arriving, I was fortunate to meet a wonderful woman, Akiko, with whom I fell in love with and married. Akiko and I decided to reside in Japan rather than the USA where I am from. My marriage to Akiko and our decision to live in Japan were two of the wisest commitments I have ever made. I'm a very lucky guy.

We live in Fukuoka, Japan. (Wikipedia, Fukuoka, Japan)
Monocle Magazine rates Fukuoka as 10th in their 2014 annual index of most livable world cities.

Enjoying Spring Cherry Blossoms With Hanako