Mizuhiki are strings made with a particular type of paper, called Washi, also called paper of the Gods, which is cut into long strips then twisted, impregnated with liquid glue, dried and subsequently colored to obtain a long thin string. With these ropes decorative knots are then made.

The origin of Mizuhiki dates back to the Azuka period, when in 607 AD a Japanese official brought back a gift for the emperor from China, the package had a red and white decoration on the lid, made of string. From that moment on, the tradition of placing a decorative knot on all gifts for the emperor took off, red with auspicious value and white as a symbol of purity.

The colors of the Mizuhiki vary and represent the different social classes from which the gifts came.

As I told you at the beginning, the term Mizuhiki derives from the word Musubi which means to connect, to bind not only physically but also emotionally.

We know that nothing, especially in Japanese culture, is left to chance, so even the use of knots is not accidental.
To become mizuhiki, Japanese paper is cut into thin strips and tightly twisted to form hard but extremely flexible threads with which artistic knots and three-dimensional compositions of considerable visual impact are produced.

Mizuhiki arrived in Japan from China around 600 AD. as an ornament for a gift intended for the emperor. They were red and white as a good omen for the return journey of the Japanese emissaries.

With mizuhiki you can make three-dimensional creations of considerable artistic and technical value.
The combination of auspiciousness, long life and resistance to adversity symbolized by pine, heron and turtle are still today given by the future groom to the bride's family on their engagement day.
There are three knots used mainly: the Hanamusubi which can be easily untied and is therefore used for thanksgiving, greetings, events, gifts, with the wish that good things will repeat themselves again.
The Musubikiri, on the other hand, once connected, is no longer unfastened; precisely for this reason it is used for marriage as a wish for a lasting relationship, or for condolences or visits to the sick, hoping that these unpleasant situations will never happen again.
Finally there is the Awabimusubi, a complicated knot, difficult to untie; the name derives from the Awabi seafood, which can be kept for a long time as it is hoped that the relationship that binds us to the person to whom we give it is destined to last forever.
But it's not just the type of knot that has a precise meaning: the number of strings used does too! It starts from a base of five units, which can be simplified to three, while the use of seven represents a touch of greater elegance.
Normally even numbers are not used, except for marriage where the use of ten strings represents the union of two families (5x2) and is therefore a sign of good luck. Even numbers and 9 are not considered positive.
Mizuhiki can also be found in the form of animals such as cranes, frogs, fish, dragons and turtles and lately this technique is also used to create bijoux.
Seventy percent of all mizuhiki produced in the country comes from Iida which is located in the alpine region of Nagano, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. It was introduced here during the Edo period and has reached such a level of quality that it is recognized as the best in the whole country even at an official level, named as such by the Japanese government itself.


I confess that I hold my heart between the sunsets,
split in two,
created as a single center,
divided by suns and moons
of another galaxy.
I confess that I am not in my bones, that I have no body, my breath is distorted by opposite impulses
to the immortal nature.
I confess that I have edges outside the body, between the clouds and the stars.
Knots in the throat.
Desires left in the red veins.
Danger of melting into so much universal love.


Spirals, step patterns, and key patterns are the dominant motifs in Celtic art prior to the Christian influence on the Celts, which began around AD 450.These designs found their way into early Christian manuscripts and works of art with the addition of depictions of life, such as animals, plants and even humans. In the beginning, the patterns were intricate braided cords, called braids, which can also be found in other areas of Europe, such as Italy, in the 6th century. A fragment of a gospel book, now in the Durham Cathedral library and created in northern Britain in the 7th century, contains the earliest example of true designs knotted in the Celtic manner. 
The researchers sought to uncover the secret of the intertwined knot patterns, to find out if there was any particular meaning behind each intricate design: in reality, the Celts did not assign special ideas or concepts to these patterns, but used them mainly as decorations on sculptures and jewelry or to fill in the empty spaces of the manuscripts in order to embellish them. However, the intertwined patterns reflect the Celtic belief about interconnectedness and continuity of life.
Celtic festivals convey the vision of the universe perceived and experienced between the visible and invisible of the ancient Celts. Ancient festivals that unfold in a path in which the earthly world and the world of the gods overlap. The seasons mark the rhythms of life and death; death is not the end but a new beginning. This concept is very important for understanding Celtic culture. In the cycles of nature there is the divine element, which permeates the entire life of the Celts. Celtic festivals are precisely the moments in which the doors open between the world of men and that of the Transcendent. On some occasions, according to the Celts, the spirits of the deceased and the inhabitants of the invisible world can communicate with the living. But above all, the cosmic calendar of Celtic holidays reveals a spiritual path that mirrors the cycle of death and rebirth, typical of the philosophy of the Druids.
The cosmic Hnot is identified in the annual cycle of events, established by the path of the Earth around the Sun. The celebrations were marked by the astronomical situations of reference, which constituted a common date for all members of the Clans and sanctioned the relationship between the individual and the natural environment in which he existed. Three celebratory elements can be identified in the intertwining of the cosmic Hnot: the path of the historical events of humanity, participation in common moments of collective management in its social aspect and the individual evolutionary path, called the “Golden Path”. The astronomical year of the cosmic Hnot can represent an important cultural element, useful for many reasons. It can show, in an always current and present way, the events of the Celtic tradition and the history of all humanity to remember, in its historical and spiritual sequence, the true identity of the European natives and give a tangible dimension to the great adventure they have. lived and are living.

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