What's this Challenge about?
Kumihimo is a traditional Japanese craft made of thread. We at Musubi are working to create and develop new values in Kumihimo. The history of kumihimo dates back over 1,000 years, starting in the Nara period (710-794), and has changed over the years, changing with the times. It has been used to tie various items, such as costumes of the aristocracy, armor and helmets, sword sheaths, tea ceremony utensils, and haori strings. In modern times, it is mainly used as an obijime for kimonos.
Creating New Value
However, with the decline of kimono culture, opportunities for kumihimo to play an active role are decreasing. However, in Makoto Shinkai's hit movie "Your name is...", Kumihimo is a key item to connect the two main characters. That is why we hope to take advantage of the good qualities of Kumihimo to create new items that suit today's lifestyles and make Kumihimo the star of the show, as well as to develop this ancient Japanese traditional craft.
The main material of Kumihimo is silk thread. Silk is a natural fiber with excellent moisture retention, moisture absorption and air permeability. Silk has a very long history in Japan, dating back to the Yayoi period, and during the Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan became the world's largest exporter of raw silk, contributing greatly to the Japanese economy. In the Meiji era (1868-1912), Japan became the world's largest exporter of raw silk and contributed greatly to the Japanese economy.
Types of Kumidai
★Marudai (top left): A stand assembled with a mirror (upper plate), legs and a lower plate, with strings wound on a ball through a hole in the upper plate. This is the smallest of the stands, but with the exception of a few, it is a very versatile stand that can be used for almost any kind of assembly, from rudimentary simple strings to very complicated ones.
★Ayatakedai (upper center): a wooden frame of about 40cm square, with a board with an arrow feather-shaped incision in front and a round bar at an angle of about 45 degrees to prevent tangling of the braided thread. Weft yarns are inserted between the upper and lower threads and are assembled while being beaten with a spatula. It is not so much elasticity, so it is very rough and smooth.
★Takadai (lower left): The stand is about half the size of a tatami mat. Thread is tied to a reeling shaft shaped like a torii (Japanese traditional gate) on the front of the stand, and thread with beads is tied to the chic (frames) on either side of the stand, and the thread is tied together while arranging the eyes by hammering it in with a bamboo spatula according to the signs of the twill method of assembly. Since a large number of balls can be used, there are many changes in the pattern, and it is possible to produce complex patterns.
★Kakudai (right) : A square base plate called "Mirror" and a pillar with a pulley to pull up the strings. The characteristic of this stand is that the strings are twisted as they are being twisted, and it is used for twisting relatively small numbers of strings.
Kumihimo is made by hand, using Kumidai. It is said that there are 40 basic types of Kumihimo, and more than 3,000 different types of Kumihimo patterns, so that even if the same threads are used, a completely different look can be created by changing the way the threads are braided. It is very difficult to learn these techniques, and there is a great concern that there are few successors to this craft.
"Japanese Scenery Series" packed with the charms of Japan
Left: Momiji, upper right: Ryuhyo, lower right: Mizuho
Japan has beautiful nature and four seasons. This Japanese Scenery Series is made of 192 silk threads in Sasanami-gumi technique. The autumn foliage depicts the blazing beauty of the mountains, Ryuhyo depicts Hokkaido in winter, and the contrast between the drift ice and the sea in the Sea of Okhotsk, and the mizuiho depicts a landscape of fresh, golden rice ears swaying in the air. The items include a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet that are easy to use in your daily life, and can be worn alone or together to create a modern item that shines subtly. The braided cord is extremely light, so it doesn't feel like a burden to wear for long periods of time.
Obijime Remake Series＜Sasanami-gumi＞
We are also focusing on sustainable initiatives to remake obijime. These are remade obijime that were originally obijime. The top one is framed with a well-balanced arrangement of obijime that allows the wearer to appreciate it. I highly recommend this piece to anyone who has a wedding present, one filled with memories, or one that has been passed down and never had a chance to use it. Many of the old obijime, especially the glittering ones, are perfect for you to appreciate. Remade Obijime accessories bring the pleasant sound of the squeaking silk and the unique texture of the obijime even closer to you. Because they are very light and comfortable to wear, the bracelets are very popular. And the key charm combined with different materials brings out the beauty of Kumihimo. This is a unique and original design that goes well with a wide range of styles, from casual styles such as backpacks and denim to more formal styles such as leather bags.
Kumihimo Fashion Items
Our hair accessories are made to be easy to match. Unlike metal or plastic, the sheen of silk is very classy and beautiful and makes your hairstyle and back look beautiful. The Kanzashi-like majeste is really easy to put on and works well with a glamorous yet casual style. The elastic type is made of Anda-gumi, which makes it easy to enjoy the beautiful and lavish use of the check-like pattern of the kumihimo. The cute and cute kumihimo with the theme of "coloring simple clothes with kumihimo" can enhance the style of a simple outfit with just one point, making it suitable for a wide range of coordinates.
Expressive Kumihimo＜Left: "Kumihimo Parfait" brooch, Upper right: Yatsu-gumi, Lower right: Naiki-gumi＞
Kumihimo, depending on the choice of thread and the way it is put together, can have a very rich expression. A single bracelet can be made three-dimensional by inserting a wire, and can be fitted to any shape. It can be used not only as a bracelet, but also as an anklet or a charm. In this short bracelet, the technique and essence of braid and the power of color are all packed in. On the other hand, the ultra-fine Kumihimo looks like a chain and can be used lightly. Here, too, the lightness and flexibility of silk thread is used to its advantage and it is not a burden for daily use. You can match the color of Kumihimo cord with your glasses.
Your own one-of-a-kind, lettered Kumihimo
Our kumihimo can also be lettered. Since each piece in this series is assembled in a different way, we carefully create it from twill drawings (blueprints). Therefore, in addition to Chinese characters, initials, marks and symbols can also be used. We also recommend using the zodiac sign of the person who will be using it, or powerful ancient characters. You can choose the color of the body and the color of the characters, so you can make your own one-of-a-kind kumihimo item. This is especially popular with people from overseas.
The Ultimate Kumihimo "Teddy Bear"
This kumihimo teddy bear was born after more than three years of trial and error and research. Its hands, feet and head move and it can strike any pose you like.
・Standing Height 22cm, Width 18cm, Depth 8cm
・Seated figure 17cm high, 15cm wide and 12cm deep
This is the ultimate in kumihimo, which is constantly being improved and continues to evolve. Each teddy bear is handcrafted one by one on the basis of the tried-and-tested paper patterns to achieve the perfect balance. It is a unique teddy bear that is particularly appreciated for its skill, beauty and charm of braiding and the wonderful lustre and feel of the silk threads.
Kumihimo can also be used with wedding dresses, which are the exact opposite of a Japanese kimono. This energetic necklace, made with plenty of silk thread and richly beaded beads, shines brighter than jewelry. This is a gem of a piece of art born of free thinking and high technology. It is made by making full use of Kakudai and Takadai.
What we hope to achieve with this challenge
(1) We want to set up an e-commerce site to bring our kumihimo to as many people as possible.
(2) Kumihimo, which has a history of more than 1,000 years but whose opportunities for success are dwindling, is about to enter a new stage
(3) We want to increase the number of people who want to try making kumihimo, and pass on the skills to the next generation.
(4) We want people to feel the quality of traditional Japanese crafts in their daily lives
(5) We want to spread Kumihimo fans and interact with them by distributing information to the world.
We have been developing prototypes of many new kumihimo items that take advantage of the original qualities of kumihimo. We would like more people to know and enjoy the charm of Kumihimo, and that is why we would like to launch an e-commerce site. This site will not be a one-way sales and distribution site, but rather a site that invites you to participate and enjoy Kumihimo even more. In addition to selling original items, we also offer custom-made items, remakes of your own obijime, and the "My Accessories" series, where you can choose what you want from each part, such as this for a string or this for a charm. These can be simulated online. If you want to make your own Kumihimo accessories, we will send you the parts as they are, and if you want the finished product, we will prepare it for you. We invite you to post your Kumihimo My Accessories on social media and let us know about it. And how do I choose? What should I do? Our staff will be happy to help you with any concerns you may have. Let's talk about Kumihimo together! You will also learn about the personalities of each artist, their thoughts on kumihimo, and what they want to express through their work.
Your support funds will be used to build this e-commerce site. We hope to launch this website and distribute a wide range of information to help the Japanese traditional craft of Kumihimo in the future, and to ensure that it is passed down to future generations, so we ask for your support.