On our recent trip to Japan we noticed that gift giving is a very important part of Japanese culture. The Japanese are very warm and friendly people who try to show their appreciation for you in such gentle and considerate ways. We were really moved by their generosity during our recent trip.
When we went to visit a good friend from my university days we were so touched by the gifts she offered us. Her mother had hand sewn and created some beautiful, perfectly crafted gifts. I can’t even fathom the amount of time that must have gone into these pieces!
These are called Temari balls. It is a traditional embroidery technique and these balls are given as a gesture of good will, friendship and loyalty. They have very intricate designs that are usually geometric and symmetrical with many of the design elements being based on nature. The colours are vibrant and so beautiful.
I would have loved to spend some time with my friend’s mother and watched how she sews all these beautiful gifts. Maybe a good reason to return to Japan one day?
We were also presented with this small hand sewn purse filled with tiny little juggling balls and a beautiful hand sewn flower. In the silk flower there is a tiny little pouch filled with scented cotton and place enough to store small pieces of jewellery.
I think the Japanese juggling balls are referred to as Otedama. You can find these little silk purses with the balls in many of the tiny boutiques around Japan. So many thanks to my dear friend and her very talented mother for such lovely and thoughtful gifts.