Amigurumi : The fine art of Japanese torture

Alas I’ve never been to Japan, but I have the impression that, as a people, they are somewhat masochistic.  Take foot binding for instance, which resulted in what was called the “lotus foot”.  What looks to our eyes a hideously deformed foot was considered sublimely beautiful and erotic, indicating that the foot owner was someone untroubled with the bother of walking on the actual ground like the rest of the human race.  Sort of like those long, useless fingernails that show their owner does not have to wash any dishes in this lifetime.


But I digress. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting cute little animals and I can report that it’s quite ridiculously addictive and not without a certain amount of masochism.  Crocheting into a tiny ring of six stitches is not for someone with huge farmer hands.

But it’s fun

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Lot of work, but it allows me to make animals that don’t come out well in fabric.



Until now I’ve only made South African animals and there’s no shortage of those



I’ve also ventured into animals we only see in the zoo.  Polar bear


and llama


Wikipedia sez amigurumi predated knitting and crochet and was practised and developed  by the samurai, yes, those ferocious warriors, and might also have been indulged in by sex workers in Japanese brothels between clients!  Clearly it does not deserve it’s reputation as a craft for dotty old grannies or giggly Japanese schoolgirls.

One of the requirements of amigurami is that it’s cute and I don’t do cute too well.  Clearly I’ll have to learn to like the cute, or to use the correct Japanese word Kawaai or Kyuuto.  Luckily I have tiny little hands, but due to a lifetime of nail chewing and gardening, they can hardly be described as kyuuto.  No worries, at least they can kawaai.



South African writer, crafter and all round animal lover
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6 Responses to Amigurumi : The fine art of Japanese torture

  1. These are so cute. I love the ostrich and the springbok. you could make a killing in oudtshoorn..send a photo to a couple of shops.


    Thanks, sis, They take ages to make, so the plan is to work out the pattern and let other people make them.

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