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Matsumoto Crafts

Temari balls and oshie dolls

During my visit to Matsumoto with friends, they introduced me to their special crafts. Firstly, we went to the Matsumoto City Museum. It displayed dolls for Hina Matsuri, but what was different – the addition of some local oshie dolls to the Hina display. For more information on oshie and paper dolls, please also visit Bell Ami Doll Shop in Matsumoto.

Another famous craft of Matsumoto is temari or embroidered balls. They are used as the symbol of Matsumoto in many ways. One of the legends of Matsumoto is that over 200 years ago a wife of the ruling samurai lord made the first temari handball. At first, the little balls made out of odds and ends of silk yarn were popular as playthings for little girls. Later, they became representations of peace and harmony between families, as something brides made and presented to the groom’s family. Today, temari are popular as good luck souvenirs. I purchased one, of course! In Matsumoto, there are master-classes for those who want to learn how to make temari.

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