A few posts ago I was struggling to remember the name of Japanese Ojime Beads -- hand-carved boxwood beads hand-carved by master woodworkers. These special beads have a wonderful history, detailed by Anna Weller of Big Bead Little Bead -- better than I could ever hope to do -- so here's the link to that.
Here, I'll summarize by noting that these are handcrafted decorative beads used as cord fasteners since as early as the 16th century in Japan. They have been made of fine metals, ivory, hornbill ivory, precious stones, jade, lacquer, tortoise shell, glass, coral, bone, stag antler, boar tooth and tusk, nuts and seeds, as well as other natural materials. The beads were used in conjunction with a box used for carrying small personal items Because the traditional Kimono had no pockets, this box was worn to hold small personal items. I find this to be a lovely and entrancing tradition, and also find myself thinking I might prefer such a method to today's bulky bags and purses. We'll be making a trek to Japan soon, hoping we'll find some wonderful Ojime beads to share with you. In the meantime, I have only one available for sale (a delightful rabbit bead). I’ll be posting it on our Etsy site soon.