About Kanzashi

The term Kanzashi refers to elaborate hair ornaments worn by women in Japan. They originated around 1600, when hairstyle fashions shifted from a long, straight style to the upswept, ornamented coiffures we're used to seeing in illustrations.

Wikipedia has an interesting article about the various forms of Kanzashi and its long history.

Today, there are only a handful of Kanzashi masters remaining in Japan. One of these is Kuniko Kanawa, who grew up immersed in Western culture but became fascinated with Japanese traditions as an adult.

She convinced one of Japan's remaining Kanzashi artisans to take her on as an apprentice, and now she creates beautiful Kanzashi for clients in Japan and the U.S.

This video showcases Kuniko's work. You can see even more on her YouTube page.

Video by Atelier Kanawa. Shared with permission.

In Kanzashi In Bloom, the Kanzashi-making process is simplified a bit so that crafters of all skill levels can make beautiful flowers. These flowers lend themselves nicely to all sorts of crafts. You can see a sampling of the projects in the book here.