Dream Silk Threads: Platinum Boy
In the spring of 2007, a dream silk thread was born, woven by male silkworms only, and the first of its kind in the world. Named ‘Platinum Boy,’ it became a new silkworm species produced 100% domestically in Japan.
Dr. Akio Onuma spent 37 years experimenting and finally succeeded in developing ‘Platinum Boy’ in 2006. It has been scientifically proven that its threads are finer, longer, sturdier and more lustrous compared to other existing silkworm species. At Ginza Motoji, we have been utilising these threads for commercial purposes since 2007.
Certificate stamps on the rolls of cloth woven with Platinum Boy feature the names of the people involved at the research centre and in sericulture farming, silk reeling and weaving. Creating this kind of manufacturing system that ‘feature the people behind the craft’ received praise, together with the innovativeness of the techniques and the superiority of quality. In 2015, we received an award from the government as a coordinated group known as ‘The Platinum Boy Research Centre – Silk Traditions to the Future.’
Japan was the world’s leading exporter in silk (raw silk) during the Meiji Period. Just as we strive to pass Japan’s kimono culture down to the next generation, we would also like to create a future for Japan’s silk culture that can be boasted of to the world. The weight of the silk thread industry’s large dreams is borne by the 100% domestically produced Platinum Boy.
The Story of Platinum Boy
The ‘Story of Platinum Boy’ began in 2016 to create order-made products from silkworms. There are also tours where visitors can see and experience the process of how kimono are made, starting with how the silkworms feed and produce cocoons, how those cocoons become threads and how those threads are woven into cloths.