Tsumami Zaiku: Honami Nakashima Collection Hand-Crafted Japanese Hair Accessories

Tsumami Kanzashi Header
by Honami Nakashima

Background Information:

YokoDana Kimono's owner Yoko Lewis is pleased to be able to offer the tsumami kanzashi of her sister, Honami Nakashima, a professional master-level kimono maker in Japan who specializes in custom-made ceremonial and other kimono since 1977. Honami also has had training in the making of tsumami kanzashi and has exhibited her work at Traditional Japanese Cultural Arts Expositions in Japan. We have been selling these at our venues since 2011 and are now happy to offer them to our customers via our web site as they are available.

The word tsumami means literally pinched [between finger and thumb] and kanzashi means simply hair accessory. Squares of special fabric are folded and manipulated to produce tsumami kanzashi. According to the late author and renowned kanzashi expert Kazuyo Hozumi (in Chirimen no Tsumami Zaiku, 2006, Nihon Vogue [Japanese]), Tsumami type kanzashi were first used in Mid-Edo (mid 1700's) in the Daimyo's (Feudal Baron) palace quarters, at first made and worn by those who took care of the Daimyo's wife and family. By the end of the 19th century (Meiji Period) kanzashi were a part of the kimono culture in Japan, worn up to the present day.

As Japan evolved in the mid-20th century there were fewer kimono being made and worn in the modern era, and likewise the number of practitioners of the art of making tsumami kanzashi dwindled. Only in more recent decades has there been a resurgence of interest in traditional tsumami kanzashi. Also, more recently the traditional tsumami methods are being applied in non-traditional ways to make a wide variety of accessories, accents on bags, quilts or décor pieces. 

(For more history and details on kanzashi see the Wikipedia.org online encyclopedia article here.)

Thanks to Judith for her kind words about these on Facebook:

Judith Van Atta Roenke I purchased one of these years ago at an art show and it is still in great shape. Yoko and Dana were recently terrific in helping me choose a few for my niece.
The purchase was easy and they shipped right away.
The clips are just beautiful and well constructed. I highly recommend.
Thank you so much!