when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

Saturday, January 16, 2010

chirimen-zaiku(crepe crafts)

縮緬細工(chirimen-zaiku:crepe crafts)

In the late Edo Period upper-class women created crepe crafts using leftover kimono cloth. The crafts include pouches, stuffed animals and toys.
The pouches were used as a scent bag or a pick case of koto(琴:a traditional Japanese stringed instrument). As the number of kimono sewers come down, the crafts had been forgotten. Because they were made as one of female accomplishments and were not marketed.
Shigeyoshi Inoue, current director of The Japan Toy Museum in Himeji, tried to revive them. Now it is popular among fancywork lovers. Many works are remade based on old ones, but include original ones. Recently its works were displayed at the exhibition in other countries outside of Japan.

this year's zodiac sign, the Tiger
made based on:
Nobuko Naito, "Chirmen-de-Tanoshimu-Okazari" in Oshare-Koubou(Tokyo:Japan Broadcast Publishing Co.,Ltd.,2009),p.43
内藤乃武子,"ちりめんで楽しむお飾り", おしゃれ工房12月号(東京:日本出版放送協会,2009),p.43

飛び鶴袋(Tobizuru-bukuro:pouch in the shape of flying crane)

This knot on the back of the crane represents a Japanese apricot blossom.

蓬莱亀袋(houraikame-bukuro:pouch in the shape of turtle):
Blue threads represent algae growing on the turtleback of an old turtle.
So they are considered as a symbol of longevity.

made based on:
Tsuyako Mizuguchi,Itsumademo-Tsutaetai-Chirimen-no-Fukuromono(Tokyo:BUNKA PUBLISHING BUREAU,2000),P.40

In ancient times, a group of boys came from Echigo(old Niigata) to big cities like Edo(old Tokyo) or Osaka in the New Year season. They put on red lion masks and performed on the streets under the leadership of their boss.

made based on:
Shigeyoshi Inoue ed.,Wa-no-Nunoasobi-chirimenzaiku,(Tokyo:ONdori-Sha,2003),P.23


  1. hi there, I came across yourblog that I want to be your friend because I am very interested to do craft things . I did some craft works but at the moment I am really busy with my studying but going to be finished after two months then I will back to my crafts mood. Basically I am an artist , an Asian but currently live in the UK.
    My name is Mya, my email address is
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. Thank you, Mya. I sent an e-mail to you.
    Here is my e-address: