Mizuhiki plays an important role in Japanese culture as a symbol of affection, warmth, and togetherness. Made from washi, or Japanese paper, Mizuhiki is a colorful twine that is tied in knots to decorate gifts. Each knot has a meaning and is used for a specific event (wedding ceremony, funeral service, birth, visiting someone at the hospital, etc.). Mizuhiki knots are closely associated with the Japanese word musubo (meaning “connection” or “tying”) because tying a Mizuhiki knot connects people and ties them together.

History of Mizuhiki: In 607 AD, a Japanese delegate returned from China with a gift for the Japanese emperor. The gift was decorated with a red and white twine knot symbolizing “safe journey” for the delegate. The Japanese began recreating the knot from washi, starting a tradition of presenting a gift box with a twine or Mizuhiki knot.

Project Steps

Craft the knot.

For this knot, use as many strands of Mizuhiki as you would like. The more strands you use, the more difficult it is to tie the knot. You may want to start with one or two strands.

Fun Mizuhiki Fact: Mizuhiki is strong and waterproof; it was used during the Edo period (1611-1869) to create parasols and umbrellas.

Mizuhiki Gallery: http://026.co.jp/mizuhiki/sitef/englishi…


This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 03, page 21.