Temari Balls- Temari Boru


Temari balls are folk art form that Japanese mothers and grandmothers made for young girls to play with as far back as five or six hundred years ago. They were used in kickball and handball games similar to the hackeysack games played around the world today. Historically, they were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball, then the wad wrapped with strips of fabric. The silk threads would have been removed and saved and, used to first wind around the ball, then to stitch the ball firmly together (it is said that the balls were wrapped and stitched so tightly that they actually did bounce). As time moved on traditional Temari balls became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating more and more beautiful and intricate balls. They now represent a highly valued and cherished gift symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty. It is traditional for a mother to make a ball for her daughter as a New Year’s gift, filled with both the mother’s gentle spirit and her unique techniques, and are believed to bestow happiness. Most Temari balls average three to five inches in diameter, although any size is possible, and larger ones are popular in Japan, where collections of all sizes and styles are treasured.

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