Japanese Traditional Paper Cutting Art “Kamikiri”


There are various traditional paper arts in Japan and kamikiri, paper cutting craft, is one of them but the difference from other paper arts is that kamikiri is also a stage performance.

The performer cuts out a silhouette of something without drawing lines on a piece of paper.

Usually while cutting the paper with scissors, the performer keeps talking to entertain the audience.

So it is very complicated and hard!



The follow video is a kamikiri expert, Hayashiya Imamaru’s performance.

Having 50 years of kamikiri experience, he can make any silhouette by requests and make profile of a person instantly.

In the video, he makes a geisha, audiences’ profiles and people carrying a portable shrine.

Although he makes them very quickly, the lines are so detailed.

When you watch the following video, I want you to pause to see how beautiful the silhouettes are.

For those who’ve never seen a portable shrine, this is a picture of it.


“People carrying a portable shrine”


"syunsune1206" some rights reserved. flickr



Now, enjoy the kamikiri performance!




I think paper cutting crafts are not so rare but this man has got extraordinary skill.

It is very amazing how he makes those silhouettes so easily.



This is JAPAN Style!


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