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Learn Kumihimo Terminology and Deepen Your Understanding of Kumihimo


Learn Kumihimo Terminology and Deepen Your Understanding of Kumihimo


Discover the 1,400-Year-Old Art of Kumihimo and Its Unique Terminology in Kagurazaka, Shinjuku


Kumihimo, which originated from mainland China, has a history of 1,400 years. This ancient craft has developed its own unique set of terms over the centuries. You can better understand this intricate art by studying these terms and experiencing Kumihimo-making.


Additionally, understanding Kumihimo terminology will help you appreciate the complexity and depth of Kumihimo creation. Learn these terms and visit Kagurazaka, Shinjuku, to experience Kumihimo-making firsthand. It will surely be a memorable experience.


Learn Kumihimo Terminology and Deepen Your Understanding of Kumihimo


Kumihimo Terminology Glossary


Garaoki (柄置き):

The order in which threads are arranged on the stand. By changing this arrangement, the pattern produced can vary greatly, even with the same set of colored threads.


Ungen (繧繝):

A technique of arranging threads in a gradient from dark to light shades of one color. This is one of Garaoki's methods.


O-bokashi (大暈し):

A dyeing technique where the color density gradually changes from the base color to the target color. The dye is gradually diluted, and the threads are dyed repeatedly while shifting the position to create a beautiful gradient.


Dansome (段染め):

A dyeing technique where parts of the thread are dyed with a resist applied. Unlike O-bokashi, the colors change with clear boundaries.


Kirikae (切り替え):

A Kumihimo technique where the pattern is changed by inserting a different braiding method in the middle of the braid.


Tooshiito (通し糸):

Threads that are dyed in a single color from start to finish, unlike Dansome or O-bokashi threads that have color variations.


Fukugen-Mozo (復元模造):

The restoration of historical Kumihimo from various parts of Japan. By researching and replicating Kumihimo, which is hundreds or even over a thousand years old, the depth of Kumihimo making is revealed.


Mazeito (混ぜ糸):

A bundle of threads mixed with different colored threads or gold and silver threads. The mixing ratio varies.


Sunako (砂子):

A bundle containing a single gold or silver thread mixed in.


Mimi (耳):

The design is on the edge of an obi cord. The edge, which visually contacts the obi, is often designed differently from the center, incorporating various creative elements, such as connecting the front and back of a two-layered braid.


Tesaki (手先):

The ends of the obi cord are about 1.5 feet long. It includes the part that is tucked under the knot when tied and is a prominent feature of the obi cord.


Kumime (組み目):

The intersection points where the threads cross and overlap are visible on the surface of the Kumihimo. The surface of the Kumihimo is a continuous series of these intersection points, and having them evenly aligned is a hallmark of a beautiful Kumihimo.



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How to Access Kagurazaka


The Kagurazaka area is conveniently located within 30 minutes from any major station in Tokyo. This is because Kagurazaka is situated in the heart of Tokyo, at the center of the Yamanote Line. Please come and visit this convenient and charming Kagurazaka.



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