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Kumihimo Braiding

Kumihimo is a traditional Japanese craft, primarily consisting of intricately braided thin silk threads. It's a unique handcrafted item made by skilled artisans. Kumihimo is a type of textile technique, like knitting and weaving.

Kumihimo was introduced to Japan along with Buddhism from mainland China, initially used as decorative cords for Buddhist utensils, scriptures, and scrolls.

 

During the Nara period (710– 794), it became popular as a part of formal attire for both men and women. In the Kamakura period (1185– 1333), it was used as a component of military gear, and in the Azuchi-Momoyama period ( 1573– 1603), it served as decorative cords for tea ceremony utensils. During the Edo period (1603 – 1868), kumihimo was extensively used for decorations on samurai weaponry and swords, becoming a symbol of the samurai's aesthetic sense and stylishness. By the late Edo period, it also began to be used as obi fasteners for women's clothing.

 

Kumihimo, originally introduced from the Chinese mainland, is said to have uniquely evolved in Japan, with the craft techniques becoming obsolete in both China and the Korean Peninsula.

Additionally, during the Edo period, samurai engaged in making Kumihimo as part of their spiritual training, implying that the creation of these braids requires a concentration that empties the mind, resonating with the spirituality of Zen philosophy.

 

Would you like to create your own Kumihimo piece at a studio with nearly 400 years of history? Kumihimo, once incorporated into the spiritual training of samurai during the Edo period, also embodies elements of Zen meditation. Being guided by an authentic Kumihimo artisan, the opportunity to simultaneously experience the creation of Kumihimo and the practice of Zen meditation will indeed become an unforgettable memory in your lifetime.

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Kumihimo Braiding at Domyo, a Historic Studio Established in 1652

Kumihimo at Domyo, a Historic Studio Established in 1652

Domyo's main store is located in Ueno, with a Kagurazaka branch featuring a space for kumihimo making experiences, a kumihimo museum, and a shop.

at Domyo, a Historic Workshop Established in 1652

Kumihimo Making Instruction in English

Skilled artisans provide kumihimo making instruction in English. Enjoy the valuable experience of learning this traditional technique.

at Domyo, a Historic Workshop Established in 1652

Kumihimo Museum and Live Demonstration

Participants in the kumihimo making experience can enjoy guided tours of the kumihimo museum and observe live demonstrations of the kumihimo making process.


Domyo has restored ancient kumihimo braids that are over 1000 years old from Nara's Shosoin and Iwate's Chusonji. These restored braids can be viewed at the Kumihimo Museum.

at Domyo, a Historic Workshop Established in 1652

The Spirituality of Zen in Kumihimo Making

Kumihimo making is a repetitive task requiring concentration that empties the mind, embodying the spirituality of Zen. For samurai in the Edo period, it was part of mental training.

at Domyo, a Historic Workshop Established in 1652

Take Home Your Own Handmade Kumihimo as a Souvenir

Participants can take home one kumihimo item they create themselves, choosing from a strap, bracelet, or neck strap.

at Domyo, a Historic Workshop Established in 1652

Purchase Artisan-Made Kumihimo Products

At Domyo, you can purchase kumihimo products crafted by skilled artisans. Why not take home an authentic kumihimo item as a unique Japanese souvenir?

 

Additionally, you can enjoy a stroll through Kagurazaka with a local guide before or after your kumihimo-making experience. Explore the historic Kagurazaka, known for its numerous samurai residences where kumihimo products were once made, accompanied by a local guide.

Kumihimo Braiding Experience Tour Information

Meeting point

Meeting place will be decided upon consultation with the customer.

Tour Duration

Approximately 2 hours.

Including the Kagurazaka street walking tour, it will be a total of approximately 4 hours.

 

The meeting and dispersal times will be decided after consulting with the customer.

Accessibility

We hope to welcome as many people as possible to the Kumihimo (braiding) making experience. However, as the crafting of Kumihimo can be challenging for young children, we ask that only individuals aged 10 and above participate.

 

Wheelchair users are also welcome. However, preparations may be necessary, so please consult us in advance.

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Would you like to create your own Kumihimo piece at a studio with nearly 400 years of history? Kumihimo, once incorporated into the spiritual training of samurai during the Edo period, also embodies elements of Zen meditation. Being guided by an authentic Kumihimo artisan, the opportunity to simultaneously experience the creation of Kumihimo and the practice of Zen meditation will indeed become an unforgettable memory in your lifetime.

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