紅花染 Benibana-zome


During the Edo period, benibana (safflower) was praised as being worth its weight in gold. The process of safflower dyeing begins by turning 200kg of the yellow petals from the flowers that blossom in midsummer into just 200g of benimochi (safflower ricecake). During the bitter cold winter, the benimochi are kneaded in cold water to remove the easily soluble yellow pigments, and the crimson alone is extracted. Beloved since the days of the ancient Japanese court, benibana-zome, the tradition was interrupted during the Meiji period but then revived in Yonezawa where it has been passed down to the present day.

紅花は江戸時代からとても高価な物として賞賛されていました。皇帝などで愛されてきた紅花染は、明治時代に中断しましたが、山形県米沢市で復活し、現在でも受け継がれています。