KUMIHIMO Japanese Silk Braiding by Domyo

KUMIHIMO: Japanese Silk Braiding by DOMYO

KUMIHIMO Japanese Silk Braiding by Domyo

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Discover the past, present and possible futures of kumihimo, an intricate, decorative braided cord from Japan, in the first major UK exhibition exploring this ancient yet contemporary Japanese art.

Literally translating as ‘joining threads together’, kumihimo is characterized by its vivid colours and intricate patterns, and is created by expert craftspeople who combine up to 140 hand-dyed threads, often made of silk.

KUMIHIMO: Japanese Silk Braiding by DOMYO brings the story of Japanese braiding to life with floor-to-ceiling installations, absorbing video, creative displays of equipment and tools and more than 50 different examples of the braids themselves, imaginatively presented throughout the gallery.

The exhibition is divided into three sections:

  • The History of Kumihimo, which explores its 1300-year past from the Silk Roads to samurai and kimono
  • The Structure of Kumihimo, which allows guests to get up close to the processes and fine details of the individual braids
  • The Future of Kumihimo, which encourages guests to join in the discussions on future kumihimo possibilities in fashion, fine art and science

The exhibition is produced by Yusoku Kumihimo Domyo (Domyo), a company located in the old shopping and entertainment district of Ueno in central Tokyo, which has been making braided silk cords by hand since 1652.

Exhibition trailer

Watch a trailer for the exhibition KUMIHIMO: Japanese Silk Braiding by DOMYO.

Booking tickets

Booking a free ticket is not essential, but is recommended in order to guarantee entry to the exhibition at your chosen time. 

22–28 May Book now
29 May – 4 June Book now
5–11 June Book now

Guests are advised that all bags (except small shoulder bags) need to be stored in the cloakroom prior to entering the exhibition. 

Well-behaved dogs that are small enough to be carried are welcome on the Ground Floor at Japan House London. Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the building.

Curator Hashimoto Mari introduces the KUMIHIMO exhibition

An introduction to the variety, history and fascination of the Japanese art of kumihimo braiding of cords by Hashimoto Mari, leading art writer and curator of the Japan House London exhibition KUMIHIMO: Japanese Silk Braiding by DOMYO.

Kumihimo Cocktail

This cocktail is inspired by the vibrancy of colour and intricacy of pattern of the kumihimo braids featured in the exhibition. It is created firstly by stirring Don Papa Rum, St Germain Elderflower liqueur and red wine over ice. Next, a dash of Campari is added, giving the drink its distinctive and vibrant red hue. A few drops of yuzu bitters finish of the cocktail, which is served over an elegant custom ice cube, etched with the design of a kumihimo braid. The name KINU, meaning silk in Japanese, recalls the smooth and well-balanced taste of the cocktail and references kumihimo’s own key ingredient.

Available in AKIRA Restaurant for the duration of the exhibition, 23 February–11 June 2023.