Mizuhiki is an ancient Japanese art form of knot tying that was traditionally employed by Japanese samurai warriors to tie up their long hair. In more recent times however it was often used to decorate women’s hair as well as fasten the hair of sumo wrestlers.
The unique cord is created from rice paper that has been tightly twisted before being starched to give it its strong, stiff structure. The cord is then coloured with thin plastic or silk threads to give it a more colourful appearance.
In modern times Mizuhiki was used for decorating purposes such as embellishments on envelopes and cards for special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Many have also said that this art of tying knots is symbolic of luck and unity, hence its significance on gifts.
Over time the different knots have taken on various forms including animals such as cranes, frogs, fish, dragons, and turtles as well as boats and flowers, all of which have their own unique meaning.
Nowadays Mizuhiki is regularly used to create simple yet elegant designs on envelopes, in a similar to how a ribbon or bow would be used. Another use that has recently become popular is to use the cord to create modern jewellery pieces.
If you are giving someone a gift, why not incorporate Furoshiki to enhance its authentic look. Made from 100% cotton, Furoshiki is a type of Japanese wrapping cloth that is considered to be a more environmentally friendly way to wrap a present. Shugi Bukuro can also be used to add the perfect finish. It is the Japanese version of an envelope and is often used to present someone with tickets or an invitation (or perhaps a Japanese Shop Voucher!).
“When Hiromi and I were married we received a number of really stunning Japanese celebration cards or Shugi Bukuro from our Japanese family and friends who were beautifully decorated with brightly coloured Mizuhiki and usually containing cash!” Jez
We have just launched our new range of Japanese Mizuhiki! Visit The Japanese Shop website now to view our colourful selection as well as our range of other products including Furoshiki and Shugi Bukuro.