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  • 執筆者の写真伝統屋 暁

"Connecting people" "Connecting hearts" -Mizuhiki decoration


Konnichiwa! Hallo everyone!

This time, I will introduce the traditional crafts that I have been interested in recently! That is "Mizuhiki".

When you say "mizuhiki", many people in Japan think of a gift money envelope. This is an envelope that wraps the money for a wedding ceremony.

You could see the decorative strings around the envelope, that is Mizuhiki!

【Mizuhiki for a gift money envelope】

The gift money envelope exists for both congratulations and condolences, and in either case, "Mizuhiki" is applied.

Mizuhiki has many meanings.

・ Indicates unopened

・ Amulet

・ The more you pull, the tighter it will be tied, so it implies "connecting people".

There are various theories about its origin.

It was a red and white hemp string tied to the gifts of the messengers who came to Japan during the Asuka period, or it originated from the "Japan-Ming Trade", but it is not clear.

However, it seems that the custom of tying red and white hemp strings to gifts became widespread in the palace, and then red and white strings were tied to gifts.

When it comes to red and white, there is a congratulatory image in Japan.

For Congratulations, tie with red & white, gold & silver, or red & gold with 5 odd numbers. In the case of a wedding gift, make a total of 10 strings. (7 or 9 for big gifts)

For condolences, black and white, yellow and white, blue and white, and silver are now used in even numbers of 2, 4, and 6.

There is a rule that light colors are on the left and dark colors are on the right.

There are several ways to tie, such as "Flower knot (Butterfly knot)", "Musubikiri (Square knot)", "Awaji knot", and "Plum knot".

Since the "flower knot (butterfly knot)" can be tied many times, it is used for celebrations that can be repeated, and the "Musubikiri (Square knot)" is used for things that you want to do once because it cannot be untied once it is tied.

For example, "Butterfly knot" is used for baby gifts and "Square knot" is used for marriage.

"Awaji knot" is a complicated design of "Square knot", so it is also used in the "don't want to repeat" scene.

"Plum knot" is a kind of "Awaji knot", and the knot looks like a plum blossom. Plum is a symbol of lucky charm and has the meaning of improving fate.

Iida City, Nagano Prefecture accounts for 70% of the national production. It was used as a souvenir at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and Paralympics, and became an opportunity to be known around the world.

【"Mizuhiki as a artcraft"】

Mizuhiki is made by applying various processing to the "core", which is made by twisting Japanese paper.

The processing can be divided into two types: coloring the "core" directly, or wrapping a colored film or thread around the "core".

"Colored Mizuhiki" is a Mizuhiki made by directly dyeing the core.

"Silk-wrapped mizuhiki" is a mizuhiki with a thin rayon wrapped around the core. Because the color is produced with fine threads, it is soft to the touch and has a soft color.

"Hagoromo Mizuhiki" is a Mizuhiki with an aurora film wrapped around the core. It has a glittering feeling and is suitable when you want to create a gorgeous place.

Recently, workshops to enjoy Mizuhiki art have been held and production kits have been sold. And the accessories and small items are delicate and very nice.

Some people make an art with Mizuhiki of a money gift envelope received at a wedding ceremony, and it is exactly the art of "connecting people" and "connecting hearts".

It's wonderful that it has been used habitually for a long time as "connecting people" and "connecting hearts".


We deliver you Japanese genuine skill with warmhearted crafts. We hope that we can continue to help you add color to your life with "tradition" and "craftsmanship".





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