Tuesday, March 3, 2009


おひな祭 (Ohina Matsuri) is today~ ^w^

I won't spend your time on a lengthy explanation, suffice it to say that it is the famed Japanese doll festival held in honor of girls and young ladies, with the wish that they will grow up healthy and beautiful and find a happy marriage. Rainbows and unicorns.

...and if stereotypical domestic bliss isn't your thing, the dolls are still a ton of fun.

切り絵 (pronounced key-ree-EH) is somewhat different from paper cutting or kirigami. For the paper-loving crowd, here's a quick breakdown of the terms:
papercutting or paper cutting: general English term for any art produced by cutting one or more sheets of paper; generally assumes a minimum of drawn media

切り紙, kirigami
: Japanese term that translates as "cut paper"; a not-necessarily broad term for cut paper arts, usually referring to geometric shapes cut from folded paper (think "paper snowflakes" and you've pretty much got it).

紋きり, monkiri: a branch of kirigami that deals specifically with the folding and cutting of paper to produce familiar mon (or kamon) family crests and motifs

切り絵, kiri-e or kirie: as presented in this post, means "cut image"; a term for images cut from a single, unfolded sheet of paper, usually black, which can manifest either as linework or as a positive-negative reduction image

wycinanki: Polish papercuts, with the Lowicz-style being unique in the world of papercutting for the use of multiple layers of bright colors

Of course, kiri-e isn't the most common medium for hina dolls. Most traditional ones are hard dolls, clothed in silk and embellishments, with ceramic faces and hands:

...or semi-soft ones made with just silk:

...or unique ones made from the empty, dyed cocoons of silk worms:

...but my favorite kind are always paper:

Hina dolls are probably one of the most fascinating elements of Japanese craft culture for folks who enjoy softies and figure work. For more images and inspiration, may I recommend searching the terms おひな様 or ひな人形 on Google image search. There are some amazing sets out there.


Mariana said...

What an interesting read.
These dolls are...superb!

Ku said...

Thank you! They really are, ne? I think I have the instructions for a basic paper doll somewhere around here.

Germasidle said...

These are beautiful, I love them!!

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

It would make a great stained glass project and a cool quilting one too. Well done

Animorpher said...

I tried the link as it seemed like a fun project but its not working for me? :(