Temari (手まり) balls are a folk craft that originated in China and was introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D. "Temari" means "hand ball" in Japanese. Historically, temari were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball, and then the wad would be wrapped with strips of fabric. As time passed, traditional temari became an art, with the functional stitching becoming more decorative and detailed, until the balls displayed intricate embroidery. Temari became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating increasingly beautiful and intricate objects.
It is part of our Modern Languages Departmental Collection, and can currently be found displayed in Cheney School's main reception.