Kanzashi Workshop

Learning the Art & History behind Kanzashi Making with the Japanese Culture Club!

Fashion forms an integral part of a lot of the cultural practices in Japan. One such popular fashion accessory is known as the Kanzashi.

The Kanzashi is a hairclip commonly worn by Japanese women. The Kanzashi also comes in various styles and colours and the design changes depending on the season.

While generally a closed practice, the Japanese Culture Club wished to make the practice more accessible and open for all to learn from.

On the 28th of June 2022, the Japanese Culture Club hosted a Kanzashi making workshop.

Prior to the workshop, the committee handed out mini paper bags filled with Japanese sweets and proceeded to explain the history and cultural significance of the Kanzashi.

One of the committee members even wore a traditional Yukata (summer robe) to better illustrate how the Kanzashi compliments traditional Japanese clothing.

Set out on each table, there were multiple pairs of scissors, a colourful array of fabrics as well as equipment needed for sewing.

To start off the workshop, the committee gave a step by step guide into making a Kanzashi.

First, fold the fabric into a triangle twice until it resembles a right-angle triangle. Next, sew the long edge of the triangle and pull the thread from the end of the triangle (as it tightens, it will start to resemble a petal).
Repeat the process until 5 or more petals are formed. Lastly, tie each petal together and sew in the hair clip. Ta da! A Kanzashi is made.

Throughout the workshop the committee members were extremely helpful in assisting the participants. From helping with sewing, tying and decorating the Kanzashi, they were always there to lend a hand. 

Although there were a few hiccups in the creative process, almost every participant was able to make a Kanzashi of their own. On th whole, the workshop was very fun, insightful, and exciting.

Meeting new people, helping one another and seeing everyone come together to celebrate such a simple tradition was truly a wonderful experience.

At the end of a very fruitful session, every participant was able to have a better understanding of the significance of the Kanzashi and the craftsmanship behind it.

It is no surprise that many participants are eagerly waiting for the next event hosted by the Japanese Culture Club.