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Now...for today's blog post:
A little something you may not know about me... My husband Jonathan is a student and teacher of Martial Arts and has an 8th degree black belt in the art they call Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (incorporating Samurai and Ninja tactics). He studies with the Grand Master of this art in Japan--Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi.
Because of this, I have been fortunate to go with him to Kyoto, the original capital of Japan. The city is very old, with many artistic traditions. While we were there, Jonathan worked at the hombu (dojo, or formal training place) while I went in search of beautiful beads.
In Gion, an area of Kyoto where we stayed, there is a long tradition of art -- exhibited in Kimonos, the Geisha, Tea, Ceramics, Fans, exquisite fabric, and glass work. I should mention I have a large collection of beautiful fans, so it was difficult not to get sidetracked onto that...
But my mission was primarily to find beads, and I was not disappointed.
I found gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Kinari beads, handcrafted by local artists. Shown here are the ones we now have available for sale at the shop. The technique is a type of lampwork, or millefiori, and you can read more about this in our previous post 'Millefiori Beads'. The beads are not cheap, but if you have ever studied or observed the craft of lampwork, you will understand and appreciate the prices.
One thing I can say for sure -- besides the fact that Kinari beads are the most exquisitely beautiful beads ever -- is that you should think about visiting Japan -- especially in the springtime. We were so lucky to see the cherry blossoms in bloom -- here's what it looked like.
Until next time,