Kumiko Kihara

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Kumiko Kihara

When I was a child, I remember vividly that my auntie always wore beautiful hairpins. She always wore a kimono for work as she was a Japanese traditional guitar player. So her hair had to be beautifully set every day and decorated with beautiful kanzashi hair pins. They were usually silver or turtle shell inlayed with some mother of pearl or with pearls or coral. I remember the shimmer that the pearls made when she moved and the noise that the silver tassels made. I can say that my fascination with jewellery had begun there.

I was brought up in Kyoto where there are many ancient temples and shrines and a whole of history of arts and culture. Old workshops and factories where the craftsmen made traditional Japanese crafts were in every corner and you could hear them working from the streets. I am always very curious about the simplicity of Japanese culture. We say there are gods in every place, every room and every object, so I always thank them everywhere I go! That is a commitment in itself. I would like to think that the Japanese philosophy helps me to notice things that we may not have seen before, or that were once insignificant. My jewellery is like an apology and also an expression of gratitude towards nature.

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