These “gathered threads” have leapt through time and space to return as popular fashion accessories.
The anime movie sensation Your Name seems to have everything now. It’s got a release date for Western audiences, complete with an English version of the soundtrack by rock band Radwimps, who also did the Japanese version, and a place in history as the second-highest-grossing domestically produced film in Japan. The success of the movie has spurred the creation of numerous additional ways to enjoy the magic of the film through avenues such as themed cafes and jewelry.
Nothing in the stars points to the film’s buzz dying down, and now its good fortune is spreading to traditional Japanese handicraft kumihimo (braids) that are enjoying a resurgence in popularity after being prominently featured in the film.
Intricate and complex kumihimo were worn by samurai as a decorative and functional way to connect the small rectangular plates that made up the warrior’s armor. These days, kumihimo are often used as fasteners on haori (jackets worn over a kimono) and worn with obi (kimono sash).
▼ Examples of kumihimo with a kimono
In the movie Your Name, red kumihimo are used as a way for the female protagonist to decorate her hair, and one can also be seen on the wrist of the male lead.
▼ The band on his wrist is not a watch.
These simple appearances in the film have sent the sales of kumihimo skyrocketing, especially for young men and women in their teens and 20s. Specialty kumihimo shops have seen a substantial increase in their sales, specifically surging since September as the movie was released in August. Couples are buying them as mementos to show their affection for each other, and men are wearing them in the same fashion as the male lead in the film.
Frenzied fans aren’t just looking to buy kumihimo, as the industrious crafty ones are also making it themselves. Like many traditional Japanese crafts, they process can be a bit daunting, but check out the videos below to see how it’s done.
▼ We have no idea how this is working…but it’s mesmerizing.
▼ Simpler, but still confusing.
Whether you’re buying a charming kumihimo bracelet or making one for yourself, it’s great to see this traditional art form make a comeback in the modern era. We could see this becoming just as popular in the West as Japan, just like the film itself. Until the movie hits theaters on April 7, stay tuned to RocketNews24 for more Your Name news.