The Twelfth Day of Kitsune – Mizuhiki

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

Arriving early to give a panel on Japanese folklore, I found Emilia (author of our guest post on kimono) teaching a workshop on tying mizuhiki. A perfect follow-up to the post on furoshiki; you can now decorate your traditionally-wrapped packages as well!

#1047 money envelope

(Photo credit: Nemo’s great uncle)

What is mizuhiki?

Mizuhiki is an art of decorative knot-tying. This style dates to the early Edo period — well after the time of Kitsune-Tsuki, but an important part of Japanese culture today. But in earlier times, colored hemp cord was used to bind poetry books and gift boxes, and Kaede-dono or Tsurugu-sama might well have tied such things.

Now cords are made of rice paper, usually brightly colored, and they are a traditional and elegant way of decorating gifts.

Choose mizuhiki cord according to color and finish; foil and silk varieties are available. Knots can be fairly simple or very complex!

My Attempt at Misuhiki

Emilia was kind enough to talk me though a basic mizuhiki knot, and I had it recorded to share with you — but unfortunately the video file was corrupted, to my great frustration! I’ve tried two different recovery software, without luck.

Still, I do have some photos.

mizuhiki knot

Red and gold knot by Emilia.

These cords are foil-wrapped. Isn’t this lovely?

mizuhiki knots

The red and gold knots are by Emilia; the red and green knots are my own attempts!

This type of knot is traditionally attached to packaged with the ends (neatly snipped) pointing up. Now you’re ready to show off on all your gifts!

Thank you for touring these past 12 days with your kitsune guide. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something fun or useful.

Merry Christmas to all! Peace on Earth, good will to all mankind!

Recommended:

Practice mizuhiki and other Japanese gift-giving arts with this beautifully-illustrated book.

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Series Navigation<< The Eleventh Day of Kitsune – the Kitsune Code of Conduct
Embarrassing True Story
Choose Your Own Hamlet Adventure?!
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One Comment

  1. I was not familiar with that style of knot, but they are lovely! Congrats to you for learning to make one, and thanks to Emilia for demonstrating others.

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