Create your own straps and bracelets at the [Braiding Experience] organized by Ryukobo!Workshop Experience
- Content: trial class for braiding
- Entry fee: (i) braiding with a small round stull 4,500 yen (tax inclusive), (ii) ancient-style finger braiding 3,000 yen (tax inclusive) * both including the cost for the materials
- Time required: (i) approximately 60 minutes or longer, (ii) approximately 40 minutes or longer (depends on how fast you make)
- How to sign up: Workshop Ryu will post the schedule on the official website a month before the class. After checking the schedule, please sign up using the “request form” on the official website with the (i) contact information, (ii) date and the class you wish to join, and (iii) the number of participants. Once your message has been confirmed and you receive a return email confirming your application, your reservation is complete.
- Note:* Beside the trial class at the workshop, we are also available for an on-site experience. Please feel free to contact us for details.
Ms. Kobayashi, who joined the [Braiding Experience] (to the left) and Mr. Takashi Fukuda, the Representative of “Ryukobo” (to the right), who coached her for the “Braiding Using a Small Round Stull”
Experience that braiding at a workshop in Nihombashi!!
“Braiding” is a traditional craft which entered the limelight by appearing as an important item in a certain animated film which was a global blockbuster. Some of you may have actually “wanted to do that” on your own. Ryukobo, located in Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, is a braiding workshop with over 130 years of history since its establishment. It is also known as the workshop which manufactured the braided bracelets as the official merchandise for the above mentioned animated film. We would like to introduce today 2 trial classes that you can experience at Ryukobo: “Braiding Using a Small Round Stull” and “Ancient-style Finger Braiding”. Ms. Kobayashi, who is taking Japanese tea ceremony lessons and has opportunities to wear kimono frequently, joined the 2 “braiding experiences”.
Braiding with a “small round stull” made for the trial class!
It was Mr. Takashi Fukuda, the Representative of “Workshop Ryukobo”, who served as a coach for the “Braiding Using a Small Round Stull”. The Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare selects “Contemporary Master Craftsmen” and award them as being a person with outstanding skills, and Mr. Fukuda has been selected as one of them. The classes start off from watching his marvelous deftness of hands while he gives a lecture on the history, types, and processes of braiding. According to Mr. Fukuda, the “finger braiding” that Ms. Kobayashi was to experience later on had been the style of the braiding until the latter half of the Edo Period. The “round stull” is a tool that has been made after that period. The “small round stull” has been made for the trial classes, based on the “round stull” that Mr. Fukuda and other braid craftsmen normally use.
Choose the colour from madder red, bamboo, and lithospermum root!
What they use for the “Braiding Using a Small Round Stull” are the silk threads that have been dyed beautifully. They have been dyed with vegetable dyeing for the trial classes into the 3 “Ryukobo”-style colours of madder red, bamboo, and lithospermum root. Ms. Kobayashi chose the pale green “bamboo”. Mr. Fukuda will explain to you in details how to take the threads and braid them using both hands, and then, the class starts.
First, Mr. Fukuda will show you how to take the silk threads and braid them in what order. The colour of the silk thread that he is braiding is the “madder red”.
“Bamboo” is a pale green colour.
“Lithospermum root” is beautiful in its elegant mauve colour.
Take the silk threads with your hands and braid them in an even movement. The braided stitches will be more beautiful if you always pay attention to the threads and adjust them so they will not twist.
As you continue braiding, the braided threads continue to appear from the bottom of the “small round stull”. On the other hand, as the reels of threads will continue to come up, you will find the right time to pull out the threads from the reels to adjust so you could go on braiding.
Mr. Fukuda checking the stitches braided by Ms. Kobayashi. He says they are well braided!
Make the beautifully braided threads into a strap. The delicate pale green colour is outstanding.
Experience the “finger braiding” skill that you can also try at home!
The second class she joined is the “Ancient-style Finger Braiding”. It was Mr. Ryuta Fukuda of “Workshop Ryu”, who served as a coach. The skill of finger braiding is used for this class. This is a skill that had frequently been used until the latter half of the Edo Period. The only tool you use is an “S-shaped hook” that you might also have at home. According to Ryuta, “you can easily braid on your own at home, if you learned this braiding skill”. He will explain to you how to hook the threads onto and off the fingers of both hands, just as you do when you do a cat’s cradle, and then, you will actually hook the silk threads on your fingers to start braiding. Ms. Kobayashi, who had initially been awkward immediately got the knack and continues braiding.
After receiving an explanation on how to use your fingers, you will actually start braiding.
Depending on how tight you cross the threads, the braid will have more tender or tighter stitches.
Tie the end of the braid so that it will not come loose to finish. As this is something you can do at home, it would be exciting to use whatever threads you have at home to make various kinds of braids.
On-site experience is also available beside the classes at the workshop!
This time, it was the trial classes at the workshop of “Ryukobo”. However, an on-site experience is also available. Please feel free to contact them if you are planning to take advantage of the experience for some events.
- Name of the company: RYUKOBO Co., Ltd.
- Address: 4-11 Tomizawacho, Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
- Business hours: (11:00-16:00)
- Regular holidays: Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays, Year-end and beginning of the year
- Website: http://ryukobo.jp/
- Access: 2-minute walk from “Ningyocho” Station, Metro Hibiya Line and Toei Asakusa Line, or 7-minute walk from “Hamacho” Station, Toei Shinjuku Line