Musica
Libri
Teatro
Cinema
Personaggi
LifeStyle

Musica
Libri
Teatro
Cinema
Personaggi
LifeStyle

The Ancient Japanese Traditional Art of Tsumami-Zaiku

Maiko (apprentice geisha) decorate their hair with charming hana kanzashi (floral ornaments).

A different flower for each month of the year: in April it is the turn of the sakura (cherry tree).

Trailing soft pink cherry blossoms (‘sakura‘) mixed with butterflies and bonbori lanterns, signalling the approach of summer. Cherry blossom viewing at this time of year is a major cultural event in Japan. Kanzashi consisting of a single silver (or sometimes gold) butterfly (‘cho‘) made of mizuhiki cord are common.

These small silk works of art are made with the ancient technique of ‘Tsumami zaiku‘.

A small square of silk is cut out, then folded with tweezers to form a flower petal. All the precious petals are then combined with the rice glue to form the whole flower.

Oharibako is wise in this ancient tradition!

Passionately preserving a tradition that goes on from two generations, the Hidemasa Kitai’s family produces wonderful hana kanzashi (ornaments used in traditional Japanese women’s hairstyles, such as those of the maiko and geisha) starting by ancient kimono that are transformed into delicate silk petals. In his shop (Oharibako おはりばこ), you can find infinite and precious accessories, they are perfect for kimono style, and Western style too… Each of them are strictly handmade with love & for love!

Tsumami Zaiku

Tsumami zaiku is an ancient traditional Japanese art.

Born in the Edo period (1603-1868), it consists in the handcrafting of objects, jewelry and various decorations through the use of the precious fabrics of the kimonos, cut into small pieces and then folded and glued by hand.

In ancient times there were silk fabrics used specifically for this practice, today the materials chosen are mainly thin and shiny silk fabrics (Habutae 羽二重), usually used for the lining of kimonos, and the Chirimen ちりめん fabric with its characteristic rippled structure ‘in waves’.

Origin of Tsumami Zaiku

In 1785, a nobleman named Yasuterukyo lived in Kyōto. Lord Yasuteru the handicraft lover, cut his wife’s old kimonos, sharpened tip of chopsticks, and created a way to fold “Maru-tsumami (round shaped tsumami)” and “Kaku(Ken)-tsumami (sharp pointed tsumami)”. He extend the glue paste on back of his hand and made ball shaped “Tsumami kanzashi” with Maru-tsumami. This was the beginning of Tsumami-zaiku.

Tsumami-zaiku kusudama: drawing on the left / ball shaped Tsumami kanzashi: drawing on the right.

With these “pointed” rods he created fabric flowers with two types of petals called Maru-tsumami and Ken-tsumami (Maru means round shape, while Ken means pointed shape)

After his first creation, Lord Yasuteru further developed the craft. To fold the fabric, he used a curved piece of bamboo, which acted like a pair of modern day tweezers. Instead of spreading glue on the back of his hand, he used a plank instead.

His next major project was a Sage kusudama (hanging type ball-shaped scent ornament), it is a decoration that has been existing in Japan since ancient times. Kusudama is a decoration that has existed since ancient times, and it was decorated with fresh flowers on a sphere made by bending bamboo.

“Sage-kusudama” made by Lord Yasuteru was decorated with 7 types of Tsumami-zaiku which was peony, cherry blossoms, plums, autumn leaves, tachibana, chrysanthemums, and satsuki azalea with scent inside, and 12 tassels using five-colors (red, blue, purple, yellow, and black).

He later presented this to Emperor Gomomozono, and it was decorated in the palace.

The ladies of the court were so inspired by Yasuterukyo’s masterpiece that they began to create, in their moments of pause, small hair ornaments and so the Tsumami zaiku became popular in the form of kanzashi.

This new fashion led to the spread of Tsumami Kanzashi which became popular not only among noble families but also among ordinary city girls. It seems that this hair ornament was also appreciated as a “souvenir symbolizing Edo” and was therefore bought by many tourists.

The initial Tsumami kanzashi was made by simple Tsumami zaiku like peony, cherry blossoms, and plums.

This artisan tradition has fortunately been handed down to us, from masters to students, from generation to generation.

Even if today there are very few craftsmen capable of practicing it.

A talented contemporary Italian artist is MOMO Kanzashi!

If you too want to adorn your hair like maiko, follow me here and discover the flower of the month for your hana kanzashi!

Cover Ph: Maiko Ayano by Onihide san

Articoli Correlati

37° Romaeuropa Festival, dall'8 settembre al 20 novembre 2022 in 18 spazi di Roma

37° Romaeuropa Festival, dall'8 settembre al 20 novembre 2022 in 18 spazi di Roma

Credere fermamente che un futuro diverso sia ancora possibile e che lo si possa costruire attraverso il dialogo e il…
"Nabbovaldo e il ricatto dal cyberspazio": il videogioco per imparare la Cybersecurity

"Nabbovaldo e il ricatto dal cyberspazio": il videogioco per imparare la Cybersecurity

Presentato al RomeVideoGameLab, “Nabbovaldo e il ricatto dal cyberspazio”, videogioco per imparare la Cybersecurity. Il gaming in classe ora diventa…
Come arrivare a proporre idee a case di produzione cinematografica importanti

Come arrivare a proporre idee a case di produzione cinematografica importanti

Quora è una piattaforma di domande e risposte per condividere e accrescere la conoscenza nel mondo, un modo per connettersi con…

Contenuti