Hari Kuyo – Japanese Needle Ceremony

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I’ve just found out about a fabulous Japanese ceremony called Hari Kuyo & just wanted to share it with you.

On 8th February every year ceremonies are held throughout Japan at Shinto Shrines and Buddhist temples celebrating the broken pins, needles and sometimes small household items such as scissors used by seamstresses, embroiderers and housewives the previous year.  Some believe that such objects contain souls and when the person sews they unburden some of the pain inside them. Sound familiar?

hari kuyo

From what I’ve read this ceremony has been taking place for over 400 years and the (mainly) women give prayers and thanks to the needles and lovingly place them in tofu before they pass on their way. Tofu is symbolic in this instance for rest and tenderness and no sewing takes place on that day. What a lovely idea.

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It’s also a time for reflection away from the daily chores and a time to pray that sewing skills improve the following year. Have a look at his wonderful booklet by Audrey Yang which illustrates the point perfectly – http://issuu.com/audsomee/docs/hari-kuyo

I always mourn the breaking of my favourite needles and say bye bye to them before they end up in the bin. However now I know about Hari Kuyo I think I will keep all the broken and bent needles I use over the year and celebrate them on the 8th February.

All images were found through internet searches.


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