Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kanzashi Challenge Redux!

The post last month I had made about using Japanese hana kanzashi as an alternative to the good old pin up flower clips really re-cemented my love of hana kanzashi! (traditional Japanese flower hair accessories) I got routing through my old research, and pawing through photos of modern and vintage kanzashi again and got to thinking about a goal I had set myself ages ago, and never completed...

Years ago I began a challenge trying to create one of every style of monthly maiko hana kanzashi. Not just one for every month, but at least one of each and every motif for each and every month of the year plus special occasions (about 5 designs per month on average, but some have as many as 11!). I did a lot of research over the years and have quite an extensive list drawn up of what that would roughly entail. Looks like about 70 hana kanzashi to meet that basic challenge.

Back in the day and managed to put together about 20 kanzashi towards the challenge, so that means at least another 50 to finish up the basic challenge (eek). This past week, after a sizable break from the challenge I dusted of my trusty kanzashi making tweezers, re-vamped the Kanzashicore❤ website and got stuck in!

Newest Additions
The first 2 were ones I thought would really compliment my retro floral dresses. June's clematis which had been a design that fascinated  me for years, and March's large peony kanzashi to go with a current favorite dress,
After that since it's now July, I dug into the silver bridge kanzashi of the Gion festival (held later this month) and the round fan kanzashi to set out my ultra tiny petal making skills. (The big silver bridge one I wore out over the weekend with a big 60's bouffant hair do!)

In my head when I first set the challenge I had also hoped to expand it to the various other types of hair ornament that go in to completing the sets as well. Not just the silk ones, but also the silver, (faux) tortoise shell and gemstone combs picks and pins too, plus the kanzashi worn by full fledged Geiko when their own hair is styled for special occasions.  In fact, a whole heap of aspirations meaning Kanzashicore I hope will one day have literally hundreds of kanzashi described, made and displayed! (hopefully before the internet has been replaced by skynet or whatever) I also have some cute modern pin up designs to work on as well.

Beyond the Challenge!
I personally wear all my kanzashi in a way that matches my lifestyle as a vintage loving, non Japanese, general layperson fancy-pants, and will be adding some tips etc on ways to wear and enjoy these lovely ornaments for my fellow western fancy-pants to the site as well.

I'm also starting to make up a first round of kanzashi for sale again just like in the good old days! I should have the first kanzashi event up in a week or so for those who also rather adding these accessories to their wardrobe.


  1. Super awesome! I'll watch this space! They are so pretty :-) Would you consider a tutorial? I'd love to learn how to make them.

  2. There is a basic tutorial over on the website http://www.vivcore.com/kanzashi_core.html

  3. Oh, how exciting!! I fell in love with Kanzashicore many years ago and got started making kanzashi too. Remember back in the days before kanzashi tutorials when you had to watch those old Japanese guys in videos and try to figure it out? Although it was time consuming and messy, I found it very relaxing! Can't wait to see what you make :) x

    1. Ah those were the days! It was like a secret society of something back then, wearing the pins was kind of like a secret handshake! I can;t believe we've been in the same internet circles since so long ago, it's really is a small digital world!



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