Around 1915, Tsuda Sokichi, the first generation of Kaga mizuhiki of Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, developed mizuhiki string craft into a formative knotting technique by creating a three-dimensional folded form of Japanese paper that had previously been a flat design. Ume Tsuda, the second generation, inherited the technique and established Kaga mizuhiki craftsmanship as a definitive art form. The company has now been passed down to the fifth generation, and continues to evolve while preserving and passing on the true essence of mizuhiki.
Charm of Kaga Mizuhiki
Mizuhiki is a red-and-white or black-and-white banded cord that is used as a decoration for weddings and funerals occasions and is applied to gift wrapping paper and other items. A special envelope for monetary gifts consists of a folded piece of paper called an "Origata" and mizuhiki, which is used to wrap the money for the multiple occasions such as weddings.
History of Kaga Mizuhiki
Around 1915, Tsuda Sokichi, the founder of Kaga mizuhiki, studied the Ogasawara style of mizuhiki and origata that were then beginning to spread. However, it was quite difficult to fold the origata tightly, which were different and complicated for different uses. Tsuda Sokichi, who thought that mizuhiki and origata were valuable for their graceful and clean appearance, came up with an idea as he diligently studied origata. Instead of folding it flat, he kept it fluffy and tied it at the center with mizuhiki. In this way, technical defects are not noticeable, and a voluminous and elegant form is created.
A three-dimensional origata inevitably involved the creation of a three-dimensional mizuhiki knot, in other words, mizuhiki string work. The set of mizuhiki and origata seen throughout Japan today are strongly influenced by the ideas of Tsuda Sokichi. Even now, about 100 years later, mizuhiki craftsmen are still using the origata and mizuhiki string work created by Tsuda Sokichi as the basis for the production of betrothal gifts and envelopes for the monetary gifts.