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.”