East meets east: Mizuhiki à la russe

I stumbled onto a charming example of intercultural creativity today, thanks to statistics of all things. Among the data I get for this blog is a daily compilation of the words people entered into search engines to end up on my blog. I like to look through it from time to time to learn what people want to know. Yesterday I was surprised to see an entry in the Cyrillic alphabet, presumably in Russian. Curious, I copied it and pasted it into Yahoo’s search engine to see where it might lead me. Very quickly, I figured out the word (мидзухики ) must be “mizuhiki,” a subject I touched on briefly in my earlier post here about Japanese money envelopes.

A mizuhiki, as I explained in my June column in The Japan Times that is linked to that post, is a handmade decorative tie crafted from stiff paper cord. My search with the cut-and-pasted Russian word led me to the blog of a Russian hobbyist who made some beautiful jewelry using mizuhiki ties. Here’s a photo:

I love the combination of gold mizuhiki ties and amber beads.

I tried to contact the blog owner for permission to use this photo, using Google Translate to go through her blog which is entirely in Russian. Unfortunately I’d need a Russian username and password to reach her. I hope the link I provided will be enough. By the way, she’s got nice photos of how to construct the tie she used. And if you read Russian, you’re golden.

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