floral Kanzashi by SakaeSnow Flower (2012) | photos by Osamu Yamazaki | click to enlarge

Kanzashi is a traditional Japanese hair ornament that’s often worn on special occasions and accompanied by a kimono. Although they’ve been around for thousands of years, their popularity peaked in the mid-1800s as they evolved from a simple stick into rather extravagant form. And even though it’s been in decline along with many customary garments and accessories, the tradition is still very much alive and well.

Take, for example, these breathtaking Kanzashi, each hand-crafted by a woman who goes only by the name of Sakae. She uses resin to create floral kanzashi that look so stunning it’s hard to believe they’re real. Her inspiration to create was a common one: “I saw a girl dressed up for coming-of-age day and I thought she would look just perfect with a blue, translucent hair ornament. But nothing of the sort existed. So I decided to make one. Up until that point I had never made anything.”

Depending on the complexity of the pieces they can take anywhere between 3 and 30 days. She sells her pieces through Yahoo Auctions in Japan and although non are on sale now, previous records would indicate they sell from anywhere between 15,000 – 45,000 yen. When new pieces go up for sale she’s promised to post updated on her facebook page.

floral Kanzashi by SakaeRed Moon kanzashi (2012)

floral Kanzashi by SakaeChinese lantern kanzashi (2012)

floral Kanzashi by Sakae

floral Kanzashi by Sakae

floral Kanzashi by SakaeA Queen of the Night kanzashi (2011)

floral Kanzashi by Sakaeher Peony kanzanshi (2011) was featured in a Panasoni ad

Sakae kanzashi 8
source: YouPouch (JP)