The Origins of Kumiko PatternsKumiko patterns originate from Japan and have been around for over 1000 years. The name ‘Kumiko’ is derived from a combination of the characters ‘ku’ and ‘miko’, which refer to the joining of wooden bars to create a lattice. The technique was initially used for decorative purposes in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. The intricate wooden designs were created using grooves and angles, with no nails or metal pieces. The technique was passed down through generations of Japanese craftsmen and is still practiced today.
How to Make Kumiko PatternsCreating Kumiko patterns requires skill, patience, and attention to detail. The process begins with selecting the right type of wood and cutting them into the necessary size and shape. Thin strips of wood are then cut and shaped using a special tool called a ‘kugihiki’. The strips of wood are then slotted into grooves in the wooden frame to create the pattern. This is done by adjusting the angle and size of the corner cuts to fit together perfectly. Key Point: No nails or metal pieces are employed in the creation of Kumiko patterns, which make each pattern unique.
The Different Types of Kumiko PatternsThere are different types of Kumiko patterns, including asa-no-ha, kikkō, and asa-no-ha ichimonji. Asa-no-ha pattern is a hexagonal lattice pattern that symbolizes growth and prosperity. Its name is derived from the shape of the hemp leaf, which is the traditional motif used in this design. Kikkō pattern is a hexagonal tortoise shell pattern that symbolizes longevity and good luck. The design is derived from the shell of the tortoise, which is considered a sacred animal in Japan. Asa-no-ha ichimonji pattern is a variation of asa-no-ha pattern with an additional diagonal lattice pattern.
- Asa-no-ha pattern
- Kikkō pattern
- Asa-no-ha ichimonji pattern
The Tools and Materials Needed for KumikoTo create Kumiko patterns, you will need a few basic tools and materials, including a saw, chisel, hammer, kugihiki, and a wooden frame. The type of wood used for Kumiko patterns is usually Japanese cedar or cherry blossom, which is easy to manipulate and lightweight. A wooden frame is also necessary to hold the pattern in place. Some craftsmen use a special type of glue called ‘konnyaku’ to attach the wooden pieces together, but this is not recommended for traditional Kumiko patterns.
- Kugihiki tool
- Japanese cedar or cherry blossom wood