Kumihimo – Past, Present & Possible Futures: Talk by Dōmyō Kiichirō


Watch a recording of the event in the player above.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition Kumihimo: Japanese Silk Braiding by Domyo, Japan House is delighted to present a talk by the President of Domyo (a workshop which has been making braided silk cords by hand since 1652). Join Dōmyō Kiichirō as he explores the history of kumihimo, its current applications and future potential, elaborating on the role of his family business in the preservation and evolution of silk braiding techniques over generations.

Kumihimo is constantly present in both the sacred and profane of Japanese cultures – it can be found in Buddhist temples, samurai armour, clothing and interior design. Its techniques have changed with the passing of time, and so has its usage, yet kumihimo does not cease to impress and inspire.

Against the background of the history of silk braiding in Japan, Dōmyō Kiichirō sheds light on the development of Domyo, a Tokyo-based workshop which has been continuously run by his family for the last 350 years. Exploring how Domyo has adapted silk-braiding styles and techniques to meets the needs of an ever-changing society, he touches on the workshop’s important work surveying and restoring historical kumihimo across Japan, as well as new compositional structures the workshop has created building on its technological expertise.

About the speaker

Dōmyō Kiichirō was born in Tokyo in 1978. After graduating from university with a degree in architecture, in 2006 he established Dōmyō Kiichirō Architects Office where he worked on designs for residences, shops and businesses. In 2012 he was appointed Representative Director of Domyo Co., Ltd. While exploring new possibilities of kumihimo as a 3D structure, he researches and recreates historical kumihimo that can be found in various locations around Japan. Alongside designing and manufacturing obijime for kimono, in 2015 he founded DOMYO, a department specializing in kumihimo for western-style apparel.