Turning point: Start of Craftsmanship and Mizuhiki May 1, 2016 – Posted in: Accessories, Crafts – Tags: , , , ,

I have always been interested in Japanese art and crafts, but I never thought that would became the turning point of my life – I started searching for all the different ways of making mizuhiki knots on the internet and gradually became a self-taught accessory craftsman. Interestingly, the word “musubi”, meaning knot, can also means “connection-making”.

I have learnt many different craft skills since. But this time, I would like to talk about my first craft items, a mizuhiki hair clip and a mizukiki wristband.

Mizuhiki – Japanese Knot Art

Mizuhiki (“水引” in Japanese) is a type of knots used to decorate gifts. There are many ways of tying a mizuhiki and they have different purposes. For example, a “Hana musubi” (flower knot) is used for occasions which “would be nice to happen again” – child birth, moving into a new house, etc; on the other hand, a “Musubi kiri” (“end of connection”*) is used for occasions which “would want to be avoided to happen again” – funerals, weddings, etc. Colours of the cord also have different meanings. Red and white are often used for celebrations, whilst black and white are only used for funerals.

↑Hana-musubi (花結び)↑

↑Video showing variations of knots. Musubi-kiri is shown at 1:14↑

Nowadays, more elaborate forms of mizuhiki have emerged and various colours are used. Mizuhiki are now often used for making accessories and decorations as well. Here, I have used an Ume-musubi (Plum blossom knot) to put on a hair clip, and a repeated Kame musubi (Turtle knot) to make a wristband.

Ume-musubi Mizuhiki – Plume Blossom Knot Floral Hair Clip

Tri-colour Mizuhiki KnotTri-colour Mizuhiki Knot Feature

Materials: Acrylic, Polyester, Felt and Steel hair clip

Kame-musubi mizuhiki – Japanese Turtle Knot Wristband (52cm)

Wrist band
Materials: Acrylic and Polyester

 What do you think about these mizuhiki crafts? Let me know in the comment section below.

*The word “musubi” (結び) is the “i-form of the word “musubu” (結ぶ), meaning “to fasten” or “to connect”. The word “kiri” (切り) is the “i-form” of the word “kiru” (切る). Depending on the context it could mean “cut”, “switch off”, “hang up”, “stop”, “end”, “finish”, etc. If I haven’t mistaken, “Musubi kiri” means “end of connection”. There’s probably a lost in translation here though.
Meaning of “kiru”
Meaning of “musubu”