Located in the northern part of Kyoto city, right in front of Daitokuji temple, is a kanzashi shop named Oharibako. It is nestled midst a row of Kyoto’s symbolic traditional townhouses, called machiya. Crafted out of kimono fabric, this shop has a wide variety of hair ornaments and accessories. If you want to immerse yourself in a traditional cultural experience, Oharibako would be the perfect place to visit during your stay in Kyoto.
A step into the shop, and you will be overwhelmed by a wide range of products made of colorful kimono fabric. Not only hair ornaments for kimono lovers, but also various types of items for everyday use: purses, hand-bags, key chains and straps, hina dolls, iPhone cases and innumerable other accessories. These products are all made of fine silk fabric, material from which a kimono is made.
Oharibako incorporates a special method to repurpose antique kimono fabric into new fashion goods and accessories to add value to the old forgotten yet expensive kimonos. The hair ornaments produced in Oharibako feature a traditional tsumami technique to meticulously fold petals of fabric into beautiful flowers. The most eye-catching ones are, the bridal ornaments that have been prepared with this technique. These hand crafted pieces of art can serve as wonderful souvenirs back in your country.
A kanzashi workshop
There is a speciality about Oharibako, it's the popular workshop on handcrafting an original tsumami ornament. The workshop attracts a total of 10,000 guests from across the nation. Tsumami is a traditional pinching method used to make a flower petal from a piece of fabric. The pinching method of making fabric flowers was developed by artisans in the Edo period, more than 400 years ago. In the workshop, a well-skilled instructor teaches you to make a tsunami ornament all by yourself.
A session is conducted in the loft of the traditional machiya with tatami mats laid across the room. Traditionally, the machiya used to be a workplace for textile merchants. You can feel the deep tradition of craftsmanship and have an experience of a lifetime in this perfect traditional ambience.
The fabrics used in making an ornament are made of fine silk called habutae, hand-dyed by local artisans. It is the same material like the one used for a Maiko’s hair ornaments. Create your original tsumami flowers from various colors and attachment parts. There are two types of tsumami accessories you can make. One is kanzashi, a stick type ornament that can be used as a hair accessory, and the other is a pin-and-clip type accessory, that can be attached to a bag, or pinned-up to your clothes for daily use.
Basically, with the tsunami technique you can make two types of flower petals. The first is the Maru-tsumami, round-pinching method to make a round-shaped petal. The other is called the Ken-tsumami, sword-pinching method that results in a sharp-pointed petal. The combination of round and sharp petals can recreate a variety of original flowers.
The first step is to choose a shape for your flowers, and then to decide which attachment best suits it. After that, hand-pick pieces of pre-cut cloth in beautifully dyed colour and there you go, creating your very own tsunami flower.
If you are not very efficient with handwork, don’t worry. The instructor will take you step-by-step through the entire procedure and help you to create your work of art. Instruction sheets in English are also provided so that you can make them by yourself.
You can take back your work as a memento on a wooden display stand. It will definitely be a great reminder of your trip to Kyoto when your back in your country. Why don’t you try and make a memorable souvenir?
Address:17 Murasakino Monzen-cho, Kitaku, Kyoto City
E-mail : [email protected]
Business hours : 11:00 -18:00
Workshop : Reservation is required. Please inquire for more details at their website.