` The Art of the Pinch: A Lecture and Demonstration on Tsumami Zaiku


The Art of the Pinch: A Lecture and Demonstration on Tsumami Zaiku

Tsumami zaiku is a traditional Japanese craft that enjoys a long history of some 200 years. By folding and pinching colourful pieces of cloth, the technique enables you to create day-to-day accessories, including ornamental combs and hairpins (kanzashi), with elaborate and intricate designs such as delicate flowers and birds. It is believed that the wife of a daimyo (lord) and her lady-in-waiting started tsumami zaiku as a hobby. Over the years, however, the craft has been adopted into the lives of society at large with many women matching a variety of these handmade accessories to their ceremonial kimono worn at annual festivals or on special occasions. Furthermore, in recently years, tsumami zaiku has become stylish in popular culture, appealing to followers of contemporary fashion in and outside Japan.

With this in mind, we have invited YAMASHITA Tomomi, an official instructor of the technique, to lead a lecture on brief history of the artistry, describing how this handmade technique can be applied to and is enjoyed in modern times. She will then demonstrate the tsumami-making method, introducing the range of tools, techniques, fabrics, and explain the basics of fixing and assembling the piece so that you can create your very own design at home.

Joining YAMASHITA is Cora Fung, a practitioner of tsumami zaiku based in the UK who has been fascinated by the craft. She will define her own attraction to the craft, displaying examples of her own work as a way to show you how inclusive this hobby is of creators outside of Japan.

If you wish to craft alongside with us in real-time, we suggest you prepare for the session with the necessary materials listed below.

Join us and bring your own tsumami zaiku idea to life, be it an ornamental hairpin or an early Christmas decoration! All ages and skill levels welcome.

Materials for a simple one petal demonstration:

  • Woodworking glue
  • 2-3 pieces of square cloth (about 4 cm). Fabric with bonds such as thin cotton is best.
  • If you have some, tapered long tweezers. If not, there may be alternative instructions on folding by hand.
  • Something flat to lay underneath the materials (for those who want to use starch glue). You can find out how to make starch glue by clicking here.

About the speakers

YAMASHITA Tomomi is a Certified Instructor of the Tsumami Zaiku Association. She has hosted workshops for some 500 visitors from over 30 countries around the world. In 2019, she has also launched the ‘Tsumami kanzashi’ website to pass on the traditions of and information on tsumami zaiku. So far, the website has been visited by people from over 50 countries and can be found here: tsumami-kanzashi.com/

Cora Fung is a self-taught tsumami zaiku artist based in Sheffield. She has been practising the craft for three and a half years and has created a wide range of accessories and artwork. Apart from traditional subjects such as chrysanthemum and crane, she also creates modern patterns and objects such as angel wings, ocean waves, and umbrellas. She trades under the trade name Takara Crafts and her crafts have been showcased in various craft fairs and exhibitions in the Yorkshire area and Manchester.

This talk has been made possible with the kind assistance of Kayoko Tezuka, Tuning for the Future (TFF) in Japan.


Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.



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