World wide Tsumami-zaiku Artist Vol.8 Ms. Sarah Chow

The famous Tsumami-zaiku artists will talk about their thoughts about Tsumami-zaiku.

The eighth Tsumami-zaiku Artist is Hong Kong artist Sarah Chow.


2015 – started learning and making tsumami zaiku accessories
2017 – set my brand ‘tsumami fatfad’ and selling tsumami zaiku accessories in local handcraft fair
2019 – open e-shop on online platform, selling my artwork overseas



Q1. How did you start working on Tsumami-zaiku? (Or did you get involved?)

I have been interested in Japanese culture for a long time and learned Japanese during undergraduate.   The first time I thought of making tsumami zaiku was to get a book jacket by cloth with beautiful Japanese pattern.  I started to search online materials about how to make tsumami zaiku flower to decorate the book jacket.  Then I discovered that although there are just 2-3 ways to fold the basic petal, many types of flower could be made.  It is very amazing that I can’t help learning more skills in improving my craft.

Q2. What are your commitments to your work and what do you care about?

The most attractive thing of tsumami zaiku must be the gracefulness of floral kanzashi.However, we don’t have that much chance to wear kanzashi in daily life, especially for people not living in Japan.I want to introduce the elegance of tsumami zaiku to more people.I am trying to combine tsumami zaiku and daily use accessories like earrings, necklace, hair accessories, so that people can appreciate the attractiveness of traditional tsumami zaiku in a modern way.

Q3. What is the attractiveness of Tsumami-zaiku for you?

In Hong Kong, people love Japanese culture a lot.But they tend to treat tsumami zaiku as accessories for children or just ‘Japanese fabric flowers. For me, tsumami zaiku is a special, traditional and systematic technique in handcrafting. By this technique, we can make many creatures such as animal, star, wave etc, not just flowers. Of course, making flowers by tsumami zaiku is most fantastic, but I love tsumami zaiku because of its possibility and diversity. And unlike graphic design which I am not good at, tsumami zaiku for me is as systematic as doing puzzle – making many basic parts and combining them into a bigger creatures.I have great sense of success rather than drawing or painting.

Q4. What do you think about the future possibilities of Tsumami-zaiku?

Tsumami zaiku can add modern and western elements in.  Apart from traditional floral kanzashi, tsumami zaiku could be used to express many other creatures as what I said before.  But when I make tsumami zaiku other than flowers, which may not look like it’s typical appearance, I always ask myself, do I keep the core of tsumami zaiku when expressing my art work with new elements?  Will other people treat these as craft other than tsumami zaiku?  I think the balance of tradition and  western (和洋折衷)is very important when putting tsumami zaiku into the modern world.

Q5. What do you want to make in the future?

I will keep on making more daily use tsumami zaiku accessories in a not very traditional way.For example, I am thinking of turning a little floral kanzashi into a pony hook or doing a bouquet in kanzashi style.There are many possibilities because I will think of how to use tsumami zaiku to fit in what I seen in my daily life.

Q6. How do you think you can use/arrange or deploy Tsumami-zaiku in your country?

Hong Kong is an international city and people here love Japanese culture very much.  Many professional instructors are already having their classes to teach basic tsumami zaiku skills.  I think I will keep focusing on my art work, let more people know that tsumami zaiku could be modern and use in different ways, not just hair accessories together with kimono.

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