Friday, February 8, 2013

Hari-kuyo - Festival of Broken Needles.

You may remember that early last year I participated in an online course to make a needlebook with Susan of Plays With Needles.  Click here for my post when I finished my first needlebook. It explains a little about the construction of the needlebook and a short explanation of the Hari-Kuyo tradition. For an even better description and more detail on the Festival of Broken Needles look here on Susan's blog.

Since then I have made several more needlebooks and given them as gifts to fellow stitchers in my family.

Here is my needlebook after a year of use.

Today, February 8th, is the day of the Hari-Kuyo festival in Japan. It is the day to honour our broken needles. The ceremony is to show respect to the tools' faithful service and to honour their value.

I have collected my broken and worn needles over the past 12 months and kept them in the back of my needlebook ready for today.

Traditionally the broken needles are placed in tofu because it is soft and soothing for the needles. I don't have any tofu, so I placed my needles in some wool batting and wrapped them in tissue paper.

I then buried my broken needles in the backyard garden and marked the place with a small stone.

I will be back tomorrow with a link to Susan's blog post about her Hari-Kuyo ceremony and lots of links to others who have made the needlebooks and saved their broken needles for February 8th, the Festival of Broken Needles.

Click here to see Susan's post. There are quite a few links to other's posts about their needlebooks and Hari-Kuyo ceremony.


  1. I never heard of this before.
    I may just have to do this but I KNOW I will need a much bigger piece of batting (I don't eat tofu!) as I break a lot of needles on the sewing machine!

  2. btw I love this needlecase its soooo pretty

  3. Oh my goodness what a lovely way to honor your needles.

    I shall very guilty from now on when I toss my broken needles in the bin.

  4. Wish I'd known....I have a block of tofu in my fridge! I admire the handwork in your needlecase.

  5. Very interesting. I have lots of broken needles - I save them in an old prescription bottle. I think I'll do this instead.

  6. never heard of this either - very interesting and I feel badly for just tossing them.

  7. Happy Harikuyo MIriam, my most amazing needlekeeper of them all! Your burial in the garden reminded me of my friend Maureen. She buried hers next to her rose bushes in hopes that the roses would learn how to work harder from the needles. I hope your next year is full of blessings and many beautiful stitches. xo Susan

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  9. Yes, I remember your post from last year, was impressed by the story then and was so now. Thanks again for the explanation of this ceremony. Hugs, Daniëlle

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  11. What a super idea for use in broken needles. I very impress about your beautiful work.