Temari

I recently read a moving and interesting article on the history of the temari as it relates to the kimono. The temari is a decorative thread   ball  that I have  had absolutely no interest in.  The article can be accessed here. The portion that jumped out at me and led me to read further on the topic is where John Marshall writes about the treatment of women in Japan. Cutting and pasting from the article.

Actually, something quite beautiful is made-
Picture a rural farm setting, long, long ago. A baby girl is born to a young mother and cherished as the thing most precious to her heart. As the baby is nurtured from infancy to adolescence, her mother will worry over her future lot in life.
As the child blossoms, her mother will save each of those threads pulled from the kimono that have graced and protected her. With a small treasured stone, shell, bead, or written prayer as the core, the mother will start to wind the threads, creating lively, colorful patterns as she works her magic. With each wrap of the fiber, with each change in the pattern, she will pray for her treasure-child’s health and happiness.
Until one day a stranger comes to take her away as a bride, perhaps never to be seen again. How can a mother bear such a burden? How can she possibly communicate all that she, with her entire being, wishes for her dear daughter?
John Marshall goes on,
In the loneliness of a foreign household, in the arms of a stranger, under the watch of a demanding mother-in-law, in the pain of child-birth, she will have her nurture-infused temari to keep the memories of her sun filled childhood, sheltered in the arms of her loving mother, alive in her heart.
End cut.
Very nice story and I am sure that is the case somewhere. My problem with it is while some parts of the story are true the main thrust doesn’t seem to match any of what is written. See here, here , here, or if you read Japanese a cut and paste,
「手まり」は、平安時代に中国から伝えられたといわれており、清少納言の「枕草子」にも貴族の遊び事として登場しています。その後、一般に普及するとともに、全国各地で独自の技法や美しい紋様が作られてきました。
讃岐には、草木染による木綿糸を用いて、染糸1本1本を針でかがりながら、20余りの模様を描き出す技法に特色があります。
今回は、讃岐かがり手まりの基礎的な作り方を行います。
I think in popular culture it is usual to portray the treatment of Japanese women in this way but the reality I have seen here doesn’t support such an oppressed position. John has far more experience and knowledge in things related to Japanese textiles than me so it is surprising he would write something so different from what others have written. Maybe he has secret knowledge.
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