Difference between Kumi-himo and Sanada-himo
Sanada-himo is also known as protective equipment that even a katana cannot cut. One of Its greatest features is the durability. At first glance, it looks like a simple thread, but Sanada-himo is actually a “woven fabric”. The clear difference between “Kumi-himo” and “Sanada-himo” is in the way they are made. In Kumi-himo, multiple warp threads are alternately braided diagonally like a plait hair to form a string. On the other hand, Sanada-himo is made by weaving the threads of warp and weft together to form a flat string. The narrowest width of Sanada-himo is approximately 6 mm, making it the smallest woven fabric in the world. Variety of coloring options are available and allowing you to create your own color scheme.
Sanada-himo tells a Pedigree by its Pattern and Color!
From what we mentioned above, Sanada-himo is durable and colorful. These two characteristics of Sanada-himo played historically significant roles in different scenes.The scene where its durability was required was “battle” in which many samurai fought. The equipment worn on the body tended to clatter and move a lot when they were running. Also, it was a bit impractical in the battlefield when they wanted to move quickly. From this situation, Sanada-himo was therefore used to keep the armor close to the body and make it easier to move as well as reinforcing the armor. In addition to this, the advantage of colorful Sanada-himo is that “Sen no Rikyu / 千利休”, who is the founder of the Senke tea ceremony, used the string on paulownia boxes to spread the culture of tea ceremony. Sanada-himo represents a different pattern / color for different family crest, and this was used as a tool to identify which family it belonged to. In terms of identifying whether they are real or fake, it may be like a seal in the modern sense of the word. Even the way the strings were tied was used in various ways to prevent assassination, switching of contents, and theft.
Sanada-himo was used to stabilize and reinforce the armor on the battlefield, but it is no longer needed in modern society. However, Sanada-himo has been used for paulownia boxes since long time ago and it continues to be used today. Sanada-himo is still one of the most popular craft, which is made to order and able to choose your favorite color. Additionally, several other products have been developed to meet the modern needs, such as smartphone straps, hairband, and eyeglass straps. Moreover, in 2016, the TV drama “Sanadamaru” was broadcast, bringing Sanadahimo back in the limelight.