Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Japanese crafts

Thought you'd like to see two interesting gifts that the Roommate & I received from students when we lived in Japan.

On the left is an origami Girls' Day display.  Girls' Day, also known as Hinamatsuri (雛祭り), or Doll Festival, and in most homes there would be a large or small display of dolls (doll size influences display size).  At the top are the Empress & Emperor, then below, various courtiers, including guards & musicians.   A student had made this as part of a class assignment for public school, then brought it in to show the Roommate.  He asked what she was planning to do w/ it:  "Throw it away."  NOOOOO!  So of course he brought it home to me & it's been treasured ever since & on display in the 9 places we've lived since then.  It's in my sewing room now.

On the right is a cloth representation of Murasaki Shikibu (紫 式 部), a pen name for one of the earliest novelists anywhere.  She wrote The Tale of Genji in the 11th century.  When we left Japan, one of my students gave it to me.  Her mother had made it.  I thought it was nice, but my co-workers informed me that the student's mom is probably an expert & most likely a teacher of this craft--they could see the artistry and skill in it, even if I couldn't.  I do love it though, and it's been another treasure that has decorated our various living quarters throughout the world.  

You may remember that my yukata was made from fabric representing Japanese women poets lounging.  Here's the post showing that fabric.  I have tried to decipher the very stylized writing to figure out which poet is which--but I haven't figured out which one is Murasaki yet.  


  1. I just adore the art and styling of Japan. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks, SBT! I think the Japanese stuff is always a bit different! And so high quality & modest.


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