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Para Enrique, pedí a los Reyes magos una tarjeta de escalar en Peki-Peki (el rocódromo más cool de Harajuku as featured in psfk) y como querían envolverlo en algo bonito, nos la dejaron en un impresionante sobre de lazos blancos y rojos. No habíamos visto jamás algo de tal delicadeza así que nos pusimos a investigar.

Mizuhiki is a stiff and glossy Japanese paper string used for decorating a present for formal occasions. They are always of two colors. Red and white or gold and silver for auspicious occasions such as marriage, black and white for sad occasions such as funerals.

Mizuhiki is a Japanese traditional twine art and has the history of more than 1400 years. Importance of Mizuhiki dates back to the 7th century when a Japanese official envoy sent to China returned home with the gifts from China. The red and white twisted strings were used to wrap the gifts as prayers for safety of the contents.

Mizuhiki has been developed in a unique way to Japan and become a culture deep rooted into Japan where presents are always wrapped. It is tied around not only wrapped gifts but also traditional envelopes for monetary offerings.

There are two different ways for tying mizuhiki strings. On most of the many lucky occasions they are tied in bows (cho-musubi). A square knot called musubikiri is for weddings and condolences. Because pulling the ends of the strings tied in the knot does not untie them, a square knot means that it is desirable to get married once and it is also used for condolence to prevent further sorrows.

Mizuhiki is also used for ornaments for the New Year, as mizuhiki adds a special meaning to the Japanese word ‘musubu’ meaning 'connection' or 'tying' and Japanese people use mizuhiki to convey warmth and affection to the society.

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