History of Crocheted Amigurumi Doll. Why? How? When?

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Our amigurumi journey started before we even learned the term amigurumi. I bet its the same for you. And I believe that all of us love amigurumi because they are cute! There was once that we became very interested in amigurumi, we did heaps of research online and offline, basically eat, breathe, sleep amigurumi.

During one of our workshops, the students asked how did amigurumi come about. I thought it’s fun to share the information with everyone.

Terminology

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ) 
Ami: To crochet or to knit

Nuigurumi: stuffed toy

Putting these 2 words together, it simply means to crochet it and to stuff it.

History

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting stuffed toys. Knitting dates back to the Japanese Edo era when samurai walked the streets. And the technique we are using today are originally used by those great samurais. They were the experts in knitting and it was an essential skills during that time.

When it comes to creating objects, the Japanese always prefer animated objects, such as animals, over unanimated objects like tables and chairs. Pretty much like Origami, the Chinese did boats and hats while the Japanese focused on birds and frogs. Amigurumi naturally focuses on characters over scarves and sweaters.
Tiny Rabbit Hole - Rilakkuma Amigurumi Crocheted Doll crochet crocheting knit knitting
“Kawaii!” might just be the only word understood by most non-Japanese. Well.. that word is being used all the time since the 1950s. Over time, it became a culture and in the 1970s, cuteness manifests itself as Hello Kitty, the first icon of Kawaii. In this era, we have even more cute characters than ever before, for eg. Pikachu, Pompompurin, Gudetama, Rilakkuma, Winnie the Pooh and many more!
Tiny Rabbit Hole - Pompompurin Amigurumi Crocheted Doll crochet crocheting knit knitting
In conclusion, the Japanese have mastered the art of knitting, prefer creating animated objects over unanimated ones, and love cute stuffs. Putting them together, Amigurumi is the the art of crocheting cute characters. This new art form has allowed many wild imaginations to come true. Artists nowadays have a new way to design and create cute chibi characters, turning the impossible possible. Even the terrible T-rex can look kawaii too! There will be more surprises coming up soon!

 

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