Iga Braid

Iga Kumihimo
Iga is known its Kumihimo. Also, Iga was one of two ninja schools. The names of the schools are Koga and Iga.

Iga kumihimo is a traditional braiding handicraft from the city of Iga in Mie Prefecture. Kumihimo braid uses silk threads for the main thread combined with gold and silver threads. It is woven in a traditional manner using kumidai braiding stands. The origins of Iga kumihimo date back beyond the Nara-era. In the Heian-era, elaborate braids began to be used for Buddhist altar objects and ritual articles. When samurai became a prevalent class, kumihimo braiding was used on weaponry. Even after the Meiji-era, the techniques of traditional kumihimo were still familiar in the world of Japanese kimono, being used on obi sashes, as well as haori and hakama from the Edo-era. The beautifully dyed silk threads intermingle with other threads, creating kumihimo braid's distinctive texture and quality. The special feature of kumihimo is its way of beautifully combining various elements. In 1976, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry designated Iga kumihimo as a Traditional Craft of Japan.