May 28, 2019

Craft and Chat

The warbler is associated with the plum blossoms in Japanese art. Though both the little bird and the fragrant flowerets are symbolic of early spring and have been loved by Japanese people, there is another reason that the motif has been cherished for a long time.

There is a classic Japanese proverb “梅にうぐいす ume ni uguisu” (plum and a bush warbler)  which means, “a good companion.” Do you know why? Because plum trees bloom the most in very early spring, well over a month before cherries. Warblers flock to the plum trees to catch warms that are attracted to their blossoms by the sweet nectar. From the image of a warbler singing happily parched on a blooming plum branch, “plum and a bush warbler” signifies a person having a like-minded friend.

Plum and bush warbler
Japanese Creation’s Chigiri-e Project Kit “Plum and Bush Warbler”

People who have similar personalities and like similar things tend to enjoy spending time together. For example, someone who likes Japanese culture will easily become friends with someone who has interest in Japanese crafts and enjoy spending time together.

If you like crafting and you have a friend who has shared interest, it is more fun to get together and do craft together. It gives you common ground for conversation and it is a way to get to know each other better. There is also a good chance that you can learn a new technique and idea. Studies also show that friends who have common interest tend to have longer lasting friendship.


The next time you want to start a new craft project and you cannot think of anyone in your circle who might be interested in, look up local communities or check out regional events. Fortunately, social media and internet make it easy to find people who have similar passions. You never know, perhaps the very act will turn into a lifelong friendship.

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 With our Buy 2 Get 1 Free promotion, you can enjoy all the fun of crafting with your friends!

*cannot be combined with other offers // does not include: Chigiri-e Starter Tool Set and courses // lesser value will be deducted at checkout

New work by Instructor Toshiko!
A canvas tool organizer with the Plum and Bush Warbler Chigiri-e motif

warbler organizer_1 warbler organizer_3 warbler organizer_2




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In some countries, it is standard custom. In others, not quite.

I grew up in Japan where taking off your shoes before entering a house is a habitual practice. Japanese houses are designed to have a designated entryway just inside the door that we call genkan. The genkan acts as a boundary between the inside and the outside. At the genkan, we take off our shoes, store them in the built-in shoe cabinet or leave them there if you are a guest, and put on indoor slippers to proceed into the house.


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July 17th, World Emoji Day, is approaching! Rarely a day goes by that we do not see emojis. They are everywhere. They are not limited in text messages and social media anymore. We see them in press releases, merchandise such as emoji on t-shirts and phone cases, and even in  tattoos. But did you know that the original meanings of some of the emoji were lost in translation?


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