I have been communicating with several friends in Japan this week and they all agree that their country is thankful for all the donations being sent to help Japan and that they are taking comfort in the knowledge that the rest of the world is sharing their pain, sending them love, support and thoughts to those in need. Although it may not be tangible this is providing much needed moral support for all of the Japanese population the knowledge that they know they are not alone in grief at this difficult time.
I know I have felt 'stuck' since March 11, not physically but emotionally numb and frozen. I can only imagine how hard it must be for the people living in Northern Japan if we are feeling so badly here in our safe city so many thousands of miles away. Because I know so many Japanese people and spend a good portion of my day doing and reading about Japanese crafts these events are rarely out of my mind.
Ginny from Temarikai has suggested a really nice idea this week that will be very healing too.
All temari makers learn about the significance of the Chrysanthemum (Kiku) to Japan. This flower is part of the national identity, being a symbol of of longevity and prosperity due to the abundant petals which drop slowly from the flower over an extended period of time. Many books about temari cite a history of women meditating on their needlework and passing their thoughts and wishes into their work. Japanese culture have long held the belief that all thing living and dead contain a spirit and as we make our temari we can help form it's spirit.
So Ginny's idea is to combine these ideas and stitch a Kiku temari for Japan. She has suggested we make a temari for ourselves and as we stitch it, we can follow that legend of a thought with each stitch offered up to those that have been so affected by recent events in Northern Japan.
The suggestion is to make a temari using Uwagake (Chidori) Kagari using any division and marking as long as it has a Kiku flower when completed on at least one pole/center.
Members of TT are invited to share an image of their completed temari in the album. If you would like to see these you'll need to join the TalkTemari Yahoo group.
For those newer to the craft of temari making, visit the TemariKai.com tool kit to see step-by-step photo tutorial on this stitch, and there are also various references to making a Kiku design in How To on TemariKai.com
I will use rice hulls and Cosmo threads to make my temari.