The Japanese word for silk is kinu (traditional Japanese) and shiruku (English loanword). The word kinu literally means silk, but the word was used to describe a type of short coat worn in the days of ancient Japan.
Interesting facts about silk in Japan
At the start of the Meiji Era (1868-1912), the Japanese Government established the state-owned Tomioka Silk Mill where they mass produced the highest quality mulberry silk. Not only was this silk used domestically for making kimonos but it was also the largest silk manufacturing facility in the world at the time. Between 1905 to the 1930s, Japan was the largest silk exporter in the world and this silk alone accounted for between 20 to 40% of the country’s total exports.