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That princess had balls of silk
August 14, 2006 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Temari have been a hand-crafted tradition for centuries in China and Japan. Also known as kishu-temari, edo-temari, etc., these intricate woven balls were originally toys for children and later became gifts symbolizing friendship and loyalty. Though they used to be constructed from scraps of old kimonos, over the years they have evolved into elaborate geometric designs using silk as well as other, less expensive materials. People outside Japan have been making their own recently and a homemade temari makes a beautiful gift indeed.
posted by ktoad (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
As for the silly thread title, it's a reference to something that happened to me in Japan. One day I was looking around a Wakayama City department store with one of my English students and we happened upon a display of brightly-colored temari. When I asked what they were she exclaimed happily, "Oh those are Princess Balls!" Maybe you had to be there. Thanks for reading my fpp!
posted by ktoad at 3:03 PM on August 14, 2006


If you roll them on the ground, will they pick up objects in their path, thereby increasing their mass and attractive capability?
posted by stenseng at 3:50 PM on August 14, 2006


I have a friend who makes beautiful temari, which she displays in groups in baskets or clear vases. She gave me directions and some simple patterns, but I got sucked into some other craft projects before I got to start... maybe now is the time to try again.
posted by candyland at 4:10 PM on August 14, 2006


Wow. Amazingly beautiful. My hands itch to try this... maybe after I've finished the knitting and cross-stitch projects I've already got going. Thanks!
posted by ottereroticist at 5:00 PM on August 14, 2006


Oh craft store, here I come!
posted by leapingsheep at 6:35 PM on August 14, 2006


"If you roll them on the ground, will they pick up objects in their path?"

Obviously, you've never heard the old Japanese saying, "A rolling temari gathers no objects". Sounds better in the original Japanese, though...

And thanks for these links, ktoad. I recently brought several temari back from Japan as gifts for members of my family. Now I can send them these links so they can know how totally cool their gifts really are!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:14 PM on August 14, 2006


Excellent post, ktoad - I've seen these temari occasionally, but never knew anything about them - including what they were called. Most interesting, thanks for sharing.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:34 PM on August 14, 2006


At first I saw the title and thought, "he spelled Tamari wrong." Now I see, it's something different. An interesting craft. It's neat.

Second, I thought. "Great. Another post about Japanese stuff." Aren't the Japanese strange and aren't people who have travelled there so cultured. (I was just being sarcastic.) Doesn't anybody on Mefi travel anywhere else besides Japan? And how many "English teachers" do the Japanese need? Is it one for every four students.
posted by Titania at 11:38 PM on August 14, 2006


"At first I saw the title and thought, "he spelled Tamari wrong."

Yeah, good for you: you see it's something different. Aren't you the cultured one? Anyway, folks here say "shoyu". You'll get a blank stare if you ask for "tamari" which, I think, was a name coined by the Erewhon company...

"Great. Another post about Japanese stuff."

Ain't nobody twisting your arm to make you read it. Why don't you just pass it by?

"Aren't the Japanese strange"

This post wasn't about anything strange. It was about something beautiful.

"Doesn't anybody on Mefi travel anywhere else besides Japan?"

The answer to that question would be, yes, people on Mefi travel elsewhere, as evidenced by innumerable posts over the years. Perhaps you've travelled elsewhere and have something you'd like to share with us? I noticed, from your profile, that you've yet to make a post.

"And how many "English teachers" do the Japanese need?"

I suppose that's for the Japanese to decide.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:26 AM on August 15, 2006


Reminds me of pysanky eggs, but instead of sticking myself repeatedly with a needle in my utter craftlessness, I'd get to burn myself with hot wax, and have something to satisfyingly smash when I totally screw it up.

Beautiful, nonetheless!
posted by eegphalanges at 1:47 AM on August 15, 2006


What a delightful discovery, temari. How neat! At first they reminded me of ""surprise balls.

The more I looked at them, the more beautiful varieties there were. They actually look really hard to make. Would love to see the process as it happens.
posted by nickyskye at 12:37 AM on August 16, 2006


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