NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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京くみひも Kyokumihimo Kyo Braiding

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Kyo braiding has a long history in Kyoto.  It is a traditional handiwork of crossing threads.  The refined and graceful beauty of this work of art, generated by threads, has nothing like it elsewhere in the world.
It is said that a simple form of braiding existed in the Jomon period (back in antiquity).  In the Nara period, more sophisticated skills were imported from China and a complicated form of braiding handiwork developed.  In the Heian and Kamakura periods, the patterns of the braiding became more graceful and developed an individual beauty.  Kyo braiding was mainly used as the decoration for swords, sleeves and armory and was loved by emperors, aristocrats and samurais.  In the Edo period, this skill spread also among commoners and various techniques developed.  Now, it is mainly used for small Japanese articles.
There are about 40 basic ways to cross threads, but if the number of patterns is included, there are more than 3,000 kinds!  All of the work is done by hand; it sometimes takes a full day to complete one braid.
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