Iga KumihimoIga Kumihimo Braids

Beginning of Iga Kumihimo is old, and it is said that it dates back to the past in the Nara era.
Elaborate string came to be used for flat braided strap, scroll of sutras of Class Tang (cross), bloom basket (keko), Household Buddhist Fittings such as bankazari (hatakazari), God tool in the Heian era. When it is the times of samurai, a lot of strings of armor and sword come to be produced, mainly on arms crossed, and string culture was born. We make tradition of the Edo era and technique of string is in Japanese dress and is got close as obi cord which cannot lack, haori string after Law banning private possession of swords appears, and samurai family society collapsed.

The origins of Iga kumihimo braid are extremely old and may even date back to before the Nara period (710-794).
During the Heian period (794-1185) various highly elaborate kinds of flat braids and cords came into use associated with Buddhist and Shinto paraphernalia. With the ascendancy of the warrior class many braids were produced for use with armor and swords and this gave rise to the establishment of a braid culture centered on weaponry. But when the carrying of swords was officially outlawed and society was no longer founded on the samurai, the time-honored techniques of braid work from the Edo period (1600-1868) were still close at hand in the form of indispensable braids used as accessories to formal, traditional dress.

Intricately braiding beautifully dyed silk threads to produce braids with a singular texture and quality, the ancient techniques of Iga Kumihimo live on as an integral part of life in modern Japan. They are still specifically used to tie obi and the traditional over-jacket called a haori.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Thread dyeing is thing by "tie-dyeing" or "ombre dyeing" "circle dyeing".

    To build, hill (include "judadai". It has the same as follows.) Use, circle stand, corner stand, colorful bamboo stick stand or ancient court secretary stand.

    When you use hill or colorful bamboo stick stand, use "spatula" for "implantation".

    When begin to make group design using hill, thing by "cat's cradle."

    Raw materials

    Assume thread to use silk thread having raw silk or materials which are equal to this or gilt thread or silver thread.

    It be said that foil to use has effect that is equal to gold leaf or silver foil or these.

  • Work scenery

    Indispensable obi gathered the best of Japanese traditional braid technology to closing as excellent supporting actor in Japanese dress. Approximately 90% of national amount of production were crossed in Osaka and Iga located midway of Nagoya, and hand braid produced with handicraft was appointed in Officially designated Traditional craft products of country on December 15, 1976. We were said to date back to the origin of Iga Kumihimo before the Nara era and have already formed production center in the Edo era. We used gold silver threads for braid mainly and built raw silk, silk thread to string which had delicate beauty in traditional groups stand such as corner stand, circle stand, hill, colorful bamboo stick stand with braid.

    Process of Iga Kumihimo is distributed finely. We introduce big flow of the process here.

    Process 1: Thread percent (mind) ri

    Thread is work that journalizing kicks silk thread that breaking is necessary as much as it is necessary. We weigh thread and distribute current several minutes of string which we are going to make by the weight.

    Process 2: Dyeing

    By process of dyeing, we finish dyeing delicate hue in color according to designation evenly. We express the light and shade and depth of color while repeating this work to modify compounding of dye, and to soak thread into. We perform expression of shading off by design. It is minute work to need mastery of skills.

    Process 3: Filature () ri

    We break thread and wind reeled thread which we dyed off on small frame (scared) in planing (zaku) ri, filature.

    Process 4: Pass; shaku (heijaku)

    We pass and pass through thread performed filature of by shaku process more and wind off on shaku frame. We pass, and periphery of shaku frame is 4 shakus and fixes necessary length and number to build while closing obi, and turning half, frame of length 8 shaku to need to one.

    Process 5: Twist

    Thread which passed, and added weight and the length of the thread at shaku called eight sheets (grow) is about to depend, and give a twist using car.

    Process 6: Build

    We build beautiful braid by each group stand and group airplane producing. Braid is divided into three kinds of circle braid, corner braid, flat braid when we greatly classify. As general today, group stand has characteristic each, in group stand, four kinds of hill use properly depending on kind of braid circle stand, corner stand, colorful bamboo stick stand. Braid is divided into three kinds of circle braid, corner braid, flat braid when we greatly classify. As general today, group stand has characteristic each, in group stand, four kinds of hill use properly depending on kind of braid circle stand, corner stand, colorful bamboo stick stand.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: Finish

    Built string is sent to process of finish to begin to bunch charge account of both points. Understand thread by hand (untie), and bind bunch eyes together with thread well one by one, bunch with steam of hot water step back and is fixed. Finally we roll and prepare cross with stand, and we close obi of beautiful flat group, and it is ga completion.

    Video is played when we click image


  • Close-up

    Iga Kumihimo which developed at village of ninja among mountains in every direction

    As for the origin of Iga Kumihimo, it is old and is said to sail up before Nara Period, but full-scale development as local industry of Iga is that Meiji is in the middle and enters. We occupy approximately 90% of nation-wide amount of production, and obi cord of Class handle produced in the ground of Iga is appointed in Officially designated Traditional craft products of country.


    It is in the middle of the Meiji era, and the spread and interval in Japanese dress spread out

    About 1902, Tokusaburo Hirosawa (Hirosawa advantageous Saburo) is establishment in thread group factory in Ueno-shi that crosses, and learns string technology, and is hometown of Edo. We made use of geographical advantage to be near home Kyoto in Japanese dress and developed as industry and we settled and spread out in village of Iga. Count from charges of grandfather this time; and of the third generation crossed, and called at restrictions person, Moe Masui (masuimoyuru) in story.

    Cross, and go on hill of string center; and Masui during model performance

    The infinite beauty spreads in slight width

    Masui who leaves university of Tokyo, and did office worker for a while in the Nagoya area makes a U-turn in Ueno-shi to inherit business at 30 years old. It "was told my wife to be fraud, but I of the eldest son came to cannot but return to house as older sister and younger sister had married into another family." We cross, and it was start that is considerably slow for string craftsman, but it is said that we learned technique with skin while sitting down near father in silence. When "only obi cord must not go out alone," "we took good care of father and were seized somehow when we challenged to devise new novel design."

    Poster of Iga Kumihimo conveying the traditional beauty

    At first oneself polished technique to find craftsman

    "Father was able to ask only member of a group (we cross and come) who lived near the house of range to be able to go around by bicycle for work, but ran around looking for member of a group in distance Nara and Shiga as I was able to get on car." The times changed, and it became difficult to find person who was silent, and crossed with cheap wage when housewife came to work outside in part, and crossed string. It is said that Masui polished technique hard to tell totally first people work. Craftsmen who were in the Iga district more than 3,000 people are pushed to raw materials and cheap foreign goods of wage and just decrease sharply to a one-third in those days. Trouble of Masui continues to cross, and to follow tradition of string.

    The history of Iga Kumihimo

    We crossed, and string was used for strings of Household Buddhist Fittings and God tool such as the sacred books originally in the Nara era. It is used habitually as string which decorates attire and the room of nobles when it is Heian period and develops as daily necessity such as armor of samurai, string of sword in the Kamakura era. Even if ninjas who acted secretly in the Edo era sent signal to friend in end restrictions in Iga, we are informed. However, it enters in late years that we actually cross in Iga, and string industry becomes popular and is after. When it was in the middle of the Meiji era, and speculation of piecework was 3 sen, as they crossed, and string shop provided 15 sen, housewives of neighborhood gathered one after another and competed for technique and developed.

    We were used for part of odoshi as restrictions to tie iron armor (armor) to for the age of civil strife

    We took wave of the times of several degrees and survived

    We crossed, and string changed form variously and, since Jomon period, survived at every change of lifestyle of people. At the time of Meiji Restoration, the government enforced Law banning private possession of swords, and the history of braid was thought whether you closed curtain with sword, too. However, arched bridge is completed in Kameido Tenjin of Edo. Smart Fukagawa geisha tied up obi to back highly in the image of arched bridge and we crossed and kept obi in string obi cord made and did dedication of a new bridge. This is beginning of present drum knot tying, and obi cord of this time becomes reputation, and we cross, and string obi cord made is raging. Thereafter we cross, and string becomes necessities of petty person in Japanese dress and continues up to the present day.

    Fascinating silk thread which was wound off by small frame (scared)

    We inherit tradition to young generation

    In "this Iga Kumihimo center, even the first person easily crosses in 20 minutes and can experience restrictions. Is it not challenged once?" Masui went on hill in center and invited casually while handling 50 - 70 beautiful silk thread skillfully. People of youth group are junior high schools of neighborhood in Iga Kumihimo association; as traditional industry it is said that cross, and teach restrictions to students. In addition, there is corner where we cross using circle stand easily, and tourist can experience restrictions. We crossed only after young instructor being accompanied by me and made key ring of string, but were easily actually completed unexpectedly if we caught even art.

    We cross and cross on day on the third floor of the string center and experience restrictions

    Craftsman profile

    Moe Masui (masuimoyuru)

    1946 birth.
    After graduating from university of Tokyo, we did office worker of computing for a while in the Nagoya area, but return home at the age of 30 years old. We inherit business as the third generation. We have qualification of Master of Traditional Crafts.





Industrial art object name Iga Kumihimo
Phonetic symbol Cross burr; string
Classification of industrial art object Other textiles
Main product Obi cord, haori string, tie
Main production area Mie / Iga-shi, Nabari-shi
The designation date December 15, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

Mie braid cooperative association
116-2, Uenomarunouchi, Iga-shi, Mie
Iga tradition Denshokan Museum
TEL: 0595-23-8038
FAX: 0595-24-1015

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Silk thread finished dyeing beautifully, ray ray cross and they cross and create texture and taste peculiar to string. The technique has been conveyed from ancient times.

Beautifully dyed silk threads are interwoven to create the unique texture and experience of kumihimo cord. The techniques used have been passed down since ancient times.

How to make

We hang thread for measure and, in the case of obi cord, divide, for example, thread for the number of string which we are going to make at weight. We cross and do dyeing filature to colorings by design of string faithfully. We pass through the thread and wind off on shaku frame. We pass, and periphery of shaku frame fixes the number of length in this because 5 shakus (approximately 150 centimeters), for one obi cord are 5 sun of 8 shakus (approximately 250 centimeters). We build twist using stands such as riokake, corner stand (we build and are), circle stand (cross for fall), colorful bamboo stick stand (for tape), hill (for high-quality string) by "twist rikake car" called eight orders.

The threads are put on a scale, and the number of threads required to make a decorative cord to hold a kimono sash in place for example will be measured by weight. The threads are dyed to faithfully correspond with color samples for each design. The threads are wound onto a frame called a keishaku-waku. The circumference of the frame is approximately 150 cm, and the length of a single kimono sash cord is approximately 250 cm, so this is how the number of sashes to be made is measured. A haccho spins the thread, and disks called kakudai (for braiding upwards), marudai (for braiding downwards), ayadakedai (for braiding flat), and takadai (for high grade cord) are used to braid the cord.

Voice from production center

It is mascot joining love that we cross, and string connects edge together. Take you by all means. In addition, please devise for curtain holder and interior.