Temari are highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing friendship and loyalty. The brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life.
Traditionally, becoming a craftsman in Japan was a tedious process. Becoming a temari artist in Japan today requires specific training, and one must be tested on one's skills and technique before being acknowledged as a crafter of temari.
Traditionally, temari were often given to children from their parents on New Year's Day. Inside the tightly wrapped layers of each ball, the mother would have placed a small piece of paper with a goodwill wish for her child. The child would never be told what wish his or her mother had made while making the ball.
Historically, temari were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball, and then the wad would be wrapped with strips of fabric. As time passed, traditional temari became an art, with the functional stitching with thread becoming more decorative and detailed, until the balls displayed intricate embroidery was finalized. With the introduction of rubber to Japan, the balls went from play toys to art objects, although mothers still make them for their children. Temari became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating increasingly beautiful and intricate objects.
Today you can find Temari in many shops and they are taken them up more and more as hobbies with books about them and various designs.
The Temari that we have at our store is a very old one, which can be seen by the style and even though it is very skillfully made, you can see that it is vintage, almost a museum piece. Please check it out when you visit our store.
Here are some more modern versions.