Harikuyo - Fesitval of Broken Needles

Published on 8th February 2015

Today, 8th February is Harikuyo the Festival of Broken Needles in Japan.  It's the day when needlewomen and men of all disciplines take their broken and damaged needles to the temple to lay them to rest and to give thanks for their work over the year.

Susan from Plays With Needles has done a couple of blog entries about the festival, and Carol-Anne from Threads Across the Web has done a post about a needle shop in Japan.

Japanese embroidery needles

Unlike Susan and Carol-Anne, I don't have a little needle book which I keep all my needles in as they all live in their needle felt.  The needles are made from mild steel, the lanolin in the felt helps to keep them from rusting.  The green paper is a very fine jewelry polishing paper that I use for cleaning my needles.

Japanese embroidery needles

This needle felt and some of the needles it contains were with me in my first Japanese embroidery class, I've added a few over the years.  I don't know how I have managed it but I've never broken a needle and those I have mislaid have always come back to me at some point. So I have no needles to lay to rest this Harikuyo.

The 9th February is the 11th anniversary of myself and Sue starting on our Japanese embroidery journey, last year we celebrated together, this year I celebrate without her.  So this Harikuyo in memory of my beloved friend, and in her honour I have decided to give my needles a good clean and to spend some time thinking of all the joy she and they brought into my life in the last 11 years.

Sue Noble

Sue Noble - always in our hearts



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On 09-02-2015 at 13:10, Susan Elliott said:

I have no doubt that Sue is with you everytime you pick up your needle. Eleven years is a long time and quite an accomplishment! When I see all that you've built here, it's quite wonderful and you should be so proud. I have never broken a Japanese needle myself and think I have all of my original needles from 25 years ago when I lived in Japan. I think I'll take your lead and clean my Japanese embroidery needles today too.

May your next year be filled with beautiful AND bountiful stitches Jane. Much love, Susan

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