Carrying on the Exquisite Beauty of Edo Tsumami-Kanzashi

Carrying on the Exquisite Beauty of Edo Tsumami-Kanzashi


Bride's ornamental hairpin
Decorative ball (kusudama)

A long time ago, in my childhood, I wore a kimono and made up my hair for the Shichigosan festival for children aged seven, five, and three, and I can still vividly remember that thrilling moment when finally a beautiful kanzashi (ornamental hairpin) was put in place. I was absolutely dazzled by how gorgeous just a single kanzashi made me look.
     Sometimes I have gazed at that kanzashi, which my mother carefully preserved, and gasped at its beauty. In ancient times women realized this beautiful power of kanzashi and also used to wear them in their hair to ward off evil spirits. This time I decided especially to introduce the world of Edo tsumami-kanzashi (literally, pinched ornamental hairpins), a technique that has been carried on since the Edo period (1603–1868) and is now designated as a traditional craft of Tokyo. So I visited Sugino Shoten, commonly known as Kanzashi Sugino, and talked with the third-generation president there, Mamoru Sugino, and his wife Satoko Sugino, who is also active as an artist.

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