Sanada Himo

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Samurai Cord is made from Japan’s traditional woven craft, known as Sanada Himo. This technique of weaving started in Japan around the 9th century. In the beginning, this ribbon was unamed until the 16th century by a well known legendary samurai named Sanada YukimuraSanada_Yukimura_Armour. He developed his own techniques of weaving the ribbon for the primary use of improving a sword’s functionality by wrapping the handle. It was also used to fasten armor, helmets, and items of importance (on their waist) securely for combat. This resilent woven textile is proven in durability, which is extended into present day conventional uses. Since then, (Sengoku period) people have called this ribbon Sanada Himo. Many other Samurai adapted Yukimura’s style for themselves by making their own pattern of ribbon for each family crest as a decorative identifying mark. It is highly prized in history as a collection of their mementos.

Currently this Sanada-Himo is utilized in many different ways. A modern usage is to tie the outer portion of a wooden box, which contains a high quality tea bowl, for the “sado” tea ceremony. Each tea ceremony, adorns a style of ribbon called “Yakusokuhimo“, known as a “Promise Bond”. Each artisian, crafts the woven handle which can only be used exclusively by the organization representing their Sanada himo.

It is also known as a Obijime, a decorated sash used to tie an obi firmly to a Kimono.

I have collaborated this woven ribbon interpetation with the “SANADA” family crest, refered to as Rokumonsen” (六文銭), which translates as the “Six Coins Crest”, which the Sanada Family only used in every military campaign during their era. The crest(flags) bore six painted gold coins, draped from red banners. Each individual warrior would place six coins(rokumonsen) on a piece of string that they wore around their neck as a symbol to mentally and spiritually “brace” themselves for battle.

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The Sanada family are popularly remembered for their six coin crest. It was believed that the spirits of warriors needed to pay a toll before boarding the river set for the afterlife. These six coins were made to pay for one of the six paths revered in the Buddhist afterlife. It was made to insure a “pure” passage for the wearer’s spirit. According to legend, this particular crest was used whenever the clan entered battle.

My impression of the observance of the six coin crest meaning is that, when they entered into battle they were preparing themselves to pay the ultimate sacrifice. However, I have designed the Samurai Cord Bracelet not because I believe in war or competition with others, but I believe the true conflict is within ourselves.

……as I believe that I am my own best ally and my own worst enemy……

My motivation for this bracelet is to remind ourselves to empower our fight for internal battles. I created this “Samurai Ribbon Bracelet” to be worn as a product of charm and blessing for those people who live their lives to the fullest. Also is the hope people will tie meaningful bonds with many others. This strong bond repesents the strength of the SANADA HIMO.

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日 本の伝統工芸のひとつ、真田紐。9世 紀頃にチベットから伝わりました。初めは名前がついていなかったこの紐は16世紀に入ると、やがて伝説の侍、真田氏が独自の製法を編み出し、人々は真田が 作った”強くて丈夫な” 紐とし、真田紐と名付けられる。戦国時代から日本刀の柄や鎧や兜の装飾品、荷物を腰に巻きつける紐として使用し始め、各武将の好 みの柄が出来、これを遺品回収の折りの目印にしたことが、のちに茶道具では約束紐と呼ばれる各流儀、各作家、各機関でのみ使用出来る独特の柄を制定する文 化の基となった。現在では帯締めとしても利用されている。


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六 文銭は地蔵信仰による仏教色の強い家門である。武将は戦場にあって、人を殺すことを仕事とした。殺生は仏教では許されない。殺生を常とするものは地獄に落 ち、終わりのない責め苦にさいなまれる。しかし修行僧の形をかり、この世にあらわれて六道の衆生を救うとされる地蔵の慈悲は、その武将達の非道をも救うと された。



で も、私は決して他人と争うことに賛成をしているわけではありません。真の戦いは自身の中にあると考えています。自身は最大の味方であり、時に最大の敵でも あります。そして、その自身との戦いに打ち勝って欲しいという願いと、できるだけ多くの人々に、”強くて丈夫な真田紐” のような絆を、できるだけ多くの方々と結んで頂けたらという願いを込めて・・・”一生懸命” 生きている皆様のお守りとして身に着けて頂けたら幸いです