Do You Know This Traditional Japanese Art of Braiding Shown in ‘Your Name’?

  • CULTURE
  • TRADITIONAL
  • Your Name (君の名は。) is now officially the highest-grossing anime film of all time. The continuous popularity and success of Makoto Shinkai’s (新海誠) soul-swapping, gender-bender fantasy movie inspired the creation of exclusively designed bus and travel tours, a limited themed cafe, and even a fancy jewelry line.

    The movie’s universal theme of love and longing touched the audiences worldwide and at the same time, allowed foreign viewers to take a peek at some of Japan’s cultural and religious activities. One of which is the art of traditional braiding called “kumihimo (組紐).”

    History of Kumihimo

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    *組紐作品* 綾竹台 16玉 小桜組 ・ ・ ☆1枚目 夜空に咲く桜のような帯締めです。 横糸(くくり糸)に金を使い花の芯と端がキラキラ✨✨ ・ ☆2枚目 丸台で組む桜はぷっくり大きく、厚みもありますが、 綾竹台で組む桜は、小さく可憐な感じです。 ・ 桜が満開の頃長女が生まれ 桜が咲くのを待たずに母が旅立ち 嬉し悲しの大好きな花🌸 ・ ・ ・#伝統工芸#帯締め#着物#和装小物#組紐#くみひも#角台#大角台#丸台#綾竹台#組紐高台#組紐綾書き#絹糸#帯#kumihimo#obijime#handmade#japan#Traditionalcrafts#silkhread#手仕事

    やえくみひもさん(@yaekumihimo)がシェアした投稿 –

    Kumihimo, meaning “gathered threads,” is a form of braid-making that produces long decorative interlaced strands. Very little is known about the history of kumihimo, but it is assumed that this braiding technique must have originated from China or Korea.

    In Japan, it started way back during the Nara (奈良) period, and over the years, the kumihimo cords have been used for various purposes. Some used the brightly colored ropes as instruments to expel evil spirits. At a time when Buddhism was dominant in Japan, monks performed braiding as a form of meditation and their exquisite products were used as temple interiors. The cords were also used to secure priestly robes and sutra scrolls.

    During the age of the samurais, the kumihimo cords became in demand as they serve as the rope that ties the iron plates of the samurai armor. They were also used to wrap sword hilts for better grip. The samurai culture declined in the Meiji (明治) period, but braid makers continued their business as kumihimo had become a small but invaluable part of the kimono. To this day, kumihimo cords are used for the decorative sash obi (belt; 帯) and the tassels of haori (kimono-like jacket; 羽織).

    Kumihimo Tools

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    『2日間で帯締めを作る』 世界文化社様 発行「きものサロン」の企画にて帯締めを製作するワークショップを本日から2日間で開催しています。 毎年好評いただいておりまして、抽選で選ばれた10名様でのワークショップです。 好きな2色を選んで頂きオリジナルの帯締めが作れる企画で、みなさま毎年楽しんで組んでいただいています。 * 組紐を初めてする方が、2日間で帯締めを1本作るというワークショップはとても根気のいる作業となる為、1年を通してもこの企画でしか行っていないレア企画です。 * みなさまに完成していただきたいので、ビシバシ強めで指導いたします。 * #有職組紐道明#道明#組紐#帯締め#着物#伝統工芸#手組#手仕事#絹#silk#kumihimo#kimono#きものサロン#組紐ワークショップ#奈良組#耳筋段#肩こり確定

    有職組紐 道明さん(@domyo_kumihimo)がシェアした投稿 –

    As the techniques and designs became more intricate, kumihimo soon required the aid of weaving tools. Braid makers started using the marudai, a wooden frame with four legs and a round top surface. It looks like a miniature stool. The weighted bobbins, called “tama,” and a bag of counterbalance bags rolled on the strands of threads form the ropes. The flat braiding frame that resembles a loom is called “takadai.” It was developed towards the end of the Edo (江戸) period.

    Kumihimo in the Present Day

    Now, more and more tourists include some specialty kumihimo shops as part of their itinerary. Asakusa (浅草) is one of the essential stops when planning a trip to Tokyo. Located on one of its many shopping streets is Kiryudo (桐生堂), a kumihimo store that opened in the 9th year of Meiji. Named after its founder’s hometown, Kiryudo offers mostly handmade Japanese jewelry, beautiful braided obi cords, kimono straps, and more.

    Several kumihimo kits for beginners are also available on Amazon. Handicraft enthusiasts can learn more about this braiding tradition and create their own personalized souvenirs. Valentine’s Day may have passed, but couples can still channel their inner Taki (瀧) and Mitsuha (三葉) and express their love that defies time and space by wearing a red kumihimo accessory.

    This braiding technique has been used in many countries since a long time ago. Thanks to Your Name, people’s interest in this declining tradition has increased. And the success of the film is far from over. Your Name has just gotten its schedule for a North American release and RADWIMPS who sang the original soundtrack also released an English version of the movie’s theme song.

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