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Silk industry

From the sericulture industry raising silkworms to obtain cocoons, the silk reeling industry processing cocoons to raw silk and the textile weaving industry dyeing silk to bring textiles to completion, Gunma has been a home of silk enjoying its status of the largest production of cocoons and raw silk in the nation, where the industries of sericulture, silk reeling and textile weaving have developed in the right equilibrium. Raw silk in particular was exported mainly in European counties after the Meiji period and promoted the industrial modernization of the country. From the Meiji Period to the beginning of the Showa Period, Gunma's brands typified by Kiryu's Omeshi (silk fabric) and Isesaki's Isesaki Meisen (woven fabric) reached new heights of prosperity and these products were put into circulation across the country making a huge contribution to the vitalization of its economy as representative of Gunma. Kiryu, Isesaki and the eastern part of the prefecture attained the fame of textile producing area and have attracted a number of textile related companies, which makes it one of the nation's largest production area even now.
However, the sericulture industry in Japan is endangered due to the rise of chemical fiber and recent import surge of silk goods on top of the fact that Japanese no longer wear kimono as much as they used to.
Efforts are underway to promote the production of high quality and distinctive cocoons and raw silk, branding of "Gunma's silk" and creation of new industries using various functions of silkworms and cocoons with the aim to hand over the silk culture to the next generation.

"Jousyu kenboshi silk" (left) and "Gunma Oogon" (right) are Gunma's original silkworm breeds grew by the prefecture.