The word “mari” comes from the ancient Japanese word “maro,” which means something round. In the Nara period (701-794), kickball game was introduced from China to Japan and the game continued to be played mainly by noblemen in the Heian period (794-1192). As time moved on kickball games were replaced by handball games. There were even jongleurs called “Shinadama-zukai,” who gave acrobatic performances using temari balls. In the Edo period, when well-bouncing thread balls came to be made, bouncing games became more popular than handball games. In making a thread ball, something bouncing such as saw dust or osmund is used as the core, which is then wrapped with cotton cloth and finally finished by wrapping tightly with thread. Patterns created by silk thread are very elegant. Temari balls still have been loved by a lot of people not only as a toy for children but also as a decorative ornament.
- Temari (Japanese thread balls)