Have you noticed? The Japanese shugibukuro (special envelope for monetary gifts), kagami-mochi / round rice cake and kadomatsu for New Year decoration are all decorated with beautiful "paper strings". Moreover, these paper strings are in all kinds of shapes... !

This time we would like to introduce to you different shapes and meanings of these paper strings.


Mizuhiki are strings with Washi (Japanese paper) as raw material made after dyed, twisted, sized, dried and hardened.

There are many stories about the origin of Mizuhiki, one of which is that in the 7th century or so when the envoy to Sui returned to Japan, the tributes brought by the Chinese official to requite were tied with red and white hemp rope knots.


From then on, it became a custom to decorate tributes in Japanese court with red and white hemp rope knots.


For joyful events Mizuhiki are usually made by strings in odd number (3・5・7) and 5 as a group is the most popular. For marriage and other important joyful events in life, Mizuhiki are usually made with 10 strings as a group.


Generally Mizuhiki in color of red and white can be used for all kind of blessings, while other specific usages are as follows.

mizuhiki mizuhiki

In modern society, people attach great importance to the design and artistic quality, so now the popular styles are Mizuhiki with fantastic knitting, in motif of traditional Japanese lucky patterns (pine・bamboo・plum flower・crane・butterfly, etc.), Mizuhiki accessories and Mizuhiki art.

You should also come to streets and shops in Japan and looking for stylish beautiful Mizuhiki!

Please click here for article about kagami-mochi

Please click here for article about kadomatsu

Please click here for article about traditional Japanese lucky patterns

Click to check the Shinto shrine where you can get a Mizuhiki O-mikuji!