An Informal Glossary

Makiko Tada has been making kumihimo for thirty years. She has kindly allowed me to share her knowledge of kumihimo here.

The names of the braids all have meaning, here are some as well as other helpful words:

chidori - plover
dai - a stand
Edo- former name of Tokyo ; an old name (the Edo-period;1616~1867) of Tokyo
fukuro - small bag (used to hold weights)
Genji - another name for the Minamoto family ; a family name of strong SAMURAI in the Kamakura period (1185~1333). So Genji is a
name given to a strong braid.There are many Genji braids, for example, Hira-Genji, Edo-Genji, Kozakura-Genji, Genji-kou, Yamato-Genji and so on. Genji-kou is a game of incense ( to guess a name of incense).
gumi - to plait, to braid (same as kumi)
himo - string, cord, braid, band , strap
Hira - flat
ito - thread, yarn
kagami - mirror, top of the marudai or kakudai
kaku - square
kakudai - square stand for braiding
kara - Chinese or foreign
kawari - change, variation ,modified
kinu - silk, silk thread
kongoh - strength, ( ex. kongoh seki= diamond, seki= stone )
kumihimo wo simasuka? - Are you braiding?
kumi - to plait, to braid (same as gumi)
kumihimo - plaited cords, braids
kumikata - braiding method
Kozakura is a small cherry flower.
kumite - braiding , there are two meanings, one is Tedori (movement of threads, braiding method ), one is a braider. te = hand
tedori movement = of threads, braiding method
kusari - chain
maru - round
marudai - round stand for braiding
oimatso - old pine tree
se - a stream with small pebbes by the water
shige - frequently, busy, heavy
tama - lead-weighted, wooden spools
tedori - movement of threads, a braiding method. For example; in all the Genji type kumihimo, there is a common Tedori
(movement of threads) which is called Genji-tedori. You can classify by Tedori, for example kongoh yotsu, Edo-yatsu, yatsuse, kaku-yatsu, hira-genji, sasanami, karakumi, naiki, kotoji, hirakara and so on. Almost of all Kumihimo is made with the combination of tedo
uchi - braid , beat with bumboo sword
yatsu - eight
yatsu se gumi - Se is means a stream with small pebbles by the water.
yotsu - four
Yamato - is the old name for Japan.

Comments or questions?
Updated November 15, 2000

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