Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Happy Hari-Kuyō!

Feb. 8th is Hari-Kuyō which means Festival of Needles. This is a 400 year old Japanese ritual honouring the service of needles:

Kimono makers, seamstresses and homemakers have gathered at shrines to thank their bent pins and broken needles for the hard work and faithful service they have provided over the past year. They express their thanks by holding a small memorial service and putting the pins and needles to rest in a block of soft tofu or jelly. It is also an opportunity to pray for improved sewing skills in the year to come. (Montreal Modern Guild)


For years I have stored my dull, broken and bent needles in this little glass jar. It has a cork lid and keeps all these sharps safe. And it holds all the secrets and sorrows that my needles have absorbed over their years of service. They have seen me through a lot of stitches and memories, and I am thankful for them!

Here is a youtube clip of a Hari-Kuyō service.

10 comments:

  1. Very interesting! Your pins and needles have much more elegant storage than mine, which are in an empty prescription bottle.

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  2. An interesting festival. My poor bent and misused needled get wrapped in paper envelopes and then put into the trash. Very irreverent I suppose.

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  3. I stick mine in old mint containers and then tape shut when full with duct tape to make sure they can not accidentally open and trash them.

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  4. That was interesting, I wonder what they do with the block once the ceremony is done. My bent and broken needles and pins are carefully wrapped and tossed.

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  5. We could not do what we do without our pins and needles!

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  6. How interesting! I love your little blue jar.

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  7. Thank you, Kathy! I shared your blog post with my quilt guild just now, and hope you don't mind. I heard about this celebration last Summer, and have been keeping my broken pins and needles in a special pin cushion, thanking them for their service as I insert them. It's a lovely rite.

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  8. What a great tradition and one I had no idea existed! I keep my bent pins/needles in a container too - just a plain old empty Rx bottle - nothing as adorable as your blue bottle (which I am not-so-secretly envying like crazy!). Of course now I will have to keep my eyes open for a new "cute" pins/needles keep :*). Thanks for sharing Kathy!

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  9. Love your little blue bottle! Thank you for sharing about the needle festival...I learned something new today!

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