Long time blog reader, Wayne Wiley, is a keen kumihimo braider. He has also traveled to many Asian destinations.  Recently, he shared this video with me.  You will have to follow the link to see it as I cannot embed here. This video is about the centuries old history of kumihimo in Kyoto where the art is particularly strong.

Kumihimo braids have a number of functions - decorative, functional and is even used in the making of talismans.  The Japanese aesthetic and craftmanship are truly admirable.  If they needed to make a cord to hold things, the Japanese will make it into a beautiful work of art at the same time.

The above video also shows how kumihimo played an important role in Japanese armor.

We are most familiar with the  round disc and square plates - which is based on a wooden version, the marudai or "round stool".  But traditional kumihimo involves all sorts of wooden looms.  Watch this modern master braid with a high loom (takadai or kodai). It looks like weaving but is technically a braid because each thread alternates at being the warp or the weft.

Kumihimo in the modern Kyoto can be seen in this video.  Did you know there are kumihimo machines today?

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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