Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品

Tokyo Kumihimo

Tokyo Kumihimo Photo

You can find professionals in Tokyo who live on only by plaiting cords.
Japan is reputed to be the home of some of the world’s most highly advanced braid-making techniques. Adoption of Japanese braid for its shoelaces by a world-leading sports shoe brand is a powerful endorsement for the Japanese industry’s technical strengths. Braiding developed as part of the manufacture of Samurai warrior armor, helmets and knotted sword handles. The robust braiding techniques, capable of producing materials that could withstand fierce fighting, have been passed down to today’s craftsmen. From the 17th century, braiding was also used to produce articles for everyday use, including Obijime (decorative string used to hold a Kimono sash in place), Netsuke (miniature carving attached to the end of a cord hanging from a pouch), and others. While KyotoKumihimo (braided cords) prefers splendor, having a background of noble court society, Tokyo Kumihimo features controlled colors, showing the influence of Samurai society and townsmen culture. Seasonal colors, reflecting the Japanese climate, provide the at- traction of fine patterns. Craftsmen take care to adjust the thread tightness, neither too tight nor too loose and they respect the significance of the braided meshes. Today, new braided products are being created, including cell phone lanyards and dog leashes. Production quantities are decreasing but many people still prefer the comfortable touch of silk material, designs that fit with modern fashion trends, and the robustness of the braided articles.
Edo Kumihimo Manufacturing Guild
Address: c/o Kiryudo CO., LTD, 27-6, Kiyokawa 1-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo