The Kumihimo Companion

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The Essence of Japanese Braiding

by Aiko Sakai and Makiko Tada (Japan)
translated by Connie Prener and Ethel Kawamura

2004, published by LACIS Publications (USA)
ISBN 978-1-891-65652-1
Soft cover, about 130 pages
Available from multiple sources

For the marudai, kakudai, and ayatakedai
In English

The "Essence" book is an English
translation of KUMIHIMO [Book III],
the third book by the authors in
a series of kumihimo instruction
books published in the 1980s by
Nihon Vogue in Japan.

The Japanese book (sometimes called
"the purple book"*) is shown here.
It is no longer in print, is somewhat
hard to find, and is available
only from resellers.


*Photo courtesy
of BraidersHand

Color plates, black-and-white diagrams with an accent color, black-and-white photos

12 advanced marudai braids, ranging from twenty to twenty-eight tama
30 kakudai braids, ranging from four to twenty-four tama
20 ayatakedai braids, ranging from two to six feathers, two and three notches

A MUST-HAVE reference for kakudai braiders and ayatakedai braiders

In the color plates, there are "extra" kakudai and ayatekedai braids. You
may be able to extrapolate the instructions for many of the kakudai braids from
those of similar braids. Instructions for all but two of the "extra" aytakedai
braids are in the blue hard-cover "Ayatakedai Braids" book by the same authors.

Braids in this book:

Seq Braid Elements Shape Dai Look-Up Name Family
1 Kyo-Maru_Genji 24 round marudai Kyo Maru Genji Maru Genji
2 Kyo-Kara-Gumi 24 flat marudai Kyo Kara tbd
3 Shin-Kaku-Genji 26 flat marudai Shin Kaku Genji tbd
4 Hira-Naka-Fuji 24 flat marudai Hira Naka Fuji tbd
5 Hira-Ichimatsu-I 24 flat marudai Hira Ichimatsu I tbd
6 Hira-Ichimatsu-II 24 flat marudai Hira Ichimatsu II tbd
7 Naka-Izutsu 28 flat marudai Naka Izutsu tbd
8 Kagome-Gumi 20 round marudai Kagome Edo Yatsu
9 Kyoraku-Gumi-I 24 flat marudai Kyoraku I Maru Yotsu (Yotsu Gumi)
10 Kyoraku-Gumi-II 24 flat marudai Kyoraku II Maru Yotsu (Yotsu Gumi)
11 Sasa-Kara-Gumi 24 flat marudai Sasa Kara tbd
12 Sawagata-Gumi 24 flat marudai Sawagata tbd
1 Maru-Yottsu 4 round kakudai Maru Yotsu (Yotsu Gumi) Maru Yotsu (Yotsu Gumi)
2 Kusari-Yottsu-Gumi 4 round kakudai Kusari Yotsu Gumi Maru Yotsu (Yotsu Gumi)
3 Edo-Yattsu-Gumi 8 round kakudai Edo Yatsu Edo Yatsu
4 Kawari-Yattsu-Gumi 8 round kakudai Edo Yatsu Kawari Edo Yatsu
5 Uneri-Yattsu-Gumi 8 round kakudai Edo Yatsu Uneri Edo Yatsu
6 Kaku-Yattsu-Gumi 8 square kakudai Kaku Yatsu tbd
7 Narabi-Yottsu-Gumi 8 round kakudai Narabi Yotsu Maru Yotsu (Yotsu Gumi)
8 Tsuri-Ito-Ryuko 8 flat kakudai Edo Yatsu Kawari Edo Yatsu
9 Takao-Yattsu-Gumi 8 flat kakudai Takao Yatsu tbd
10 Aoyagi-Gumi 8 round kakudai Edo Yatsu Aoyagi Edo Yatsu
11 Kaku-Yattsu-Se 8 round kakudai Yatsu Se tbd
12 Kaku-Kara-Yattsu-Gumi 8 flat kakudai Kara Yatsu tbd
13 Yattsu-Nishiki 8 square kakudai Yatsu Nishiki tbd
14 Kamogawa-Gumi 8 round kakudai Kamogawa Edo Yatsu
15 Hira-Kara-12-Gumi 12 round kakudai Hira Kara 12 Kaku Hira Kara 12 Kaku
16 Ajiro-12-Gumi 12 round kakudai Ajiro 12 tbd
17 Maru-Ajiro-12-Gumi 12 round kakudai Maru Ajiro 12 Kongoh
18 Maru-Kara-16-Gumi 16 round kakudai Maru Kara tbd
19 Hira-Kara-16-Gumi 16 flat kakudai Hira Kara 16 Kaku tbd
20 Ajiro-16-Gumi 16 round kakudai Ajiro 16 tbd
21 Kara-Maki-Gumi 17 flat kakudai Kara Maki tbd
22 Azuma-Gumi 16 flat kakudai Azuma tbd
23 Okina-Gumi 16 round kakudai Okina tbd
24 Omi-Gumi 16 round kakudai Omi Ajiro
25 Chirimen-Gumi 16 flat kakudai Hira Kara 16 Kaku tbd
26 Ichiraku-Gumi 16 round kakudai Hira Kara 16 Kaku tbd
27 Kawari-Naiki 16 flat kakudai Hira Kara 16 Kaku tbd
28 Chikura-Gumi 16 round kakudai Chikura tbd
29 Hagoromo-Gumi 20 round kakudai Maru Kara Embellishment tbd
30 Mittsu-Ajiro 24 flat kakudai Mittsu Ajiro Ajiro
1 Suruga-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Suruga tbd
2 Kamakura-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Kamakura tbd
3 Nagashi-Kamakura 26 flat ayatakedai Nagashi Kamakura tbd
4 Kawari-Kamakura 38 flat ayatakedai Kawari Kamakura tbd
5 Ayatake-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Ayatake tbd
6 Waka-Sugi 18 flat ayatakedai Waka Sugi tbd
7 Kobai-Gumi 16 flat ayatakedai Kobai tbd
8 Take-Fushi-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Take Fushi tbd
9 Nashiji-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Nashiji tbd
10 Ajisai-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Ajisai tbd
11 Suruga-Miyuki 22 flat ayatakedai Suruga Miyuki tbd
12 Ume-Suruga 14 flat ayatakedai Ume Suruga tbd
13 Maki-Suruga 10 flat ayatakedai Maki Suruga tbd
14 Uki-Irie 18 flat ayatakedai Uki Irie tbd
15 Aya-Hishi-Gumi 18 flat ayatakedai Aya Hishi tbd
16 Aya-Gaeshi 18 flat ayatakedai Aya Gaeshi tbd
17 Uki-Sugi 18 flat ayatakedai Uki Sugi tbd
18 Ryusen 22 flat ayatakedai Ryusen tbd
19 Yabane 18 flat ayatakedai Yabane tbd
20 Ko-Uneri 26 flat ayatakedai Ko Uneri tbd

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