Anna Ozawa

くみひも (Kumihimo)

Sita 88
“紐は人と人を結ぶ, 紐はモノとモノを結ぶ, 紐は縁を結ぶ ”

String binds people to people, binds things to things, binds en (forms connections)

Traditional craft techniques are fast becoming less known today and kumihimo, a Japanese traditional braiding technique that is simple, yet profound, is one of them.

Both ‘sai’ (beauty of Japanese colours) and ‘iki’ (the notion of Japanese elegance and spiritual energy) are all embedded and intertwined with Japanese history. 

Kumihimo Top Wide 13

Its uses have continuously changed through repetitive generational modifications. Originally used for binding armours and to attach katanas (swords), it had much more practical use recognised as a ‘charm’ to repel any bad omens and disasters. And for that reason, colours such as red and vermillion (also believed to keep away evil spirits) were often used for it. As time passes, swords and armours were no longer needed. But the beauty of the colours and the intricate patterns in the braids were acknowledged, transforming them into items for decorative purposes. Such as the obijime (decoration for kimono), which kumi-himo is known to the majority of people nowadays.

Kumihimo Under 16
Anna 19 3

Yet again, this purpose is forced to change as a result of the recent reduction of the people wearing the kimono. Exploring small accessories as a new potential, I aim to bring back the aspect of craft and tradition once more, combined with ceramics, which also struggle to find a place in the contemporary world. 

Kumihimo Clip 9

I intend to pursue the beauty of it, along with the significance of what people have left for us.

Jewelry 2 11
Kumihimo 5

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