Kirigami workshop

March 16, 2019
15:00 ÷ 18:30
Galleria Nobili
Via Marsala, 4
20121 Milano (MI)

Kirigami lab
we will achieve together
Tsurushi Bina 吊るし雛
suspended paper garlands
edited by Asako Hishiki

What is kirigami

Kirigami 切り紙, from the Japanese kiru (to cut) and kami (paper), consists of an oriental technique of carving and folding the paper to obtain three-dimensional shapes starting from a single sheet, without removing pieces.
It is usually made by first performing all the necessary cuts, obtaining a base that is folded and flattened to obtain the models. These are usually symmetrical and can represent geometric, figurative and architectural structures. The various subjects take shape with the opening of the sheet: you can make kirigami whose opening is 90 degrees and kirigami with 180 or 360 degrees opening.

Galleria Nobili, on the occasion of hinamatsuri 雛祭り, (the feast of the peach or girls), dedicates a workshop to the realization of tsurushi bina 吊るし雛 (literally 'suspended dolls') a wreath-like garland that hangs during this period of the year to celebrate young girls.

Tsurushi bina: paper garlands made with kirigami technique
Paper garlands (tsurushi bina) made with kirigami technique

Hinamatsuri history

Hinamatsuri 雛祭り, the festival of peach or girls has a curious history, almost forgotten.
In the late Edo period a party was held at the time of the snake, on the third day of the third month of the year. Traditionally it was dedicated to ritual purification known as jōshi no sekku 上巳の節句, the seasonal feast of the serpent. People rubbed their skin with human-looking figurines made of paper, straw, clay, or wood. These were used to absorb, exorcizing it, the spiritual filth and bad karma of the devotee.
There is a hypothesis that the assonance between the word for "snake" (jōshi 上巳) and the the word for "girl" (joshi 女子), determined over time a shift of the original meaning in favor of the girls.
The first seasonal festival, jāshi no sekku, after the birth of a child, is a period in which the dolls are exposed to symbolize the desire of the family that thier daughter grows healthy, strong and happy.

The laboratory

We will achieve together:
tsurushi bina 吊るし雛 using the kirigami technique 切り紙. Each doll has a propitiatory meaning regarding a healthy and happy growth of the girls.
During the workshop, we will analyze the underlying symbology and the participants can choose some to create their own garlands. Using colored Japanese paper, we will also deepen the traditional combinations of colors used in spring, whose ancient Japanese names recall the flowers and seasonal plants from which the colors are taken.

There are more than 30 dolls/symbols; here are some examples:

  • hagoita 羽子板, a kind of racket/talisman to drive away negative influences. Considered a lucky charm, it's given to a family where a child has just been born.
  • ninjin 人 参 (carrot), nutritious food.
  • hamaguri (clams), is considered a symbol of chastity and auspicious to let the child grows in beauty.

Sakura no kasane 桜の襲

From the words sakura (cherry blossom) and kasane (overlapping) come several color combinations to represent the season.
We will show you some regarding the spring and realated to cherry blossoms hues.

  • First layer: white (絹 natural silk); second layer: cherry pink (紅花 benibana)
  • First layer: purplish red (蘇芳, suou, pigment), second layer: cherry red (紅花 benibana)
  • First layer: white (絹 natural silk); second layer: purplish red (蘇芳, suou, pigment)

Color combination used in tsurushi bina, traditional japanese good luck little dolls

Asako Hishiki biography

To learn more about personal and collective exhibitions, please see Asako Hishiki bio


  • Maximum 12 students
  • Cost € 70, per person
  • Possibility to register for both Kurumi Botan and Kirigami Lab at the discounted price of 130.00 euros per person
  • Suitable for all levels, no experience required
  • All materials supplied by the artist
  • The materials produced remain the property of the student
  • For subscriptions please write to

Cancellation and non-attendance

If the cancellation occurs:
  • 10 or more days before the course: we will refund 85% of the amount
  • 7,8,9 days before: 50% refund
  • less than 7 days or non-attendance: no refund

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