Making Strings Art

We had this experience at Choenji Temple of Nichiren Shu in Iwakura!

We call it “Itokake Art”.

It is also called “Itokake Mandala” or “Itokake Yoga Mandala.”

Mandala is a picture of Buddha or a symbol of the world of Buddha. The word “Mandala” is from the Sanskrit language in India. The meaning is circle.

I looked up it and I thought, the history of this was interesting.

The Austian philosopher Rudolf Steiner advocated Steiner Education in the early 20th century.

Steiner education uses this in learning prime numbers and the multiplication tables!

Steiner advocated the idea of education as art education.

Steiner created a unique curriculum that valued the mind and sensitivity according to the development of the child.

Rather than having children compete with others in terms of grades, Steiner encouraged children to awaken their own interests.

The joy of knowing is the base of learning.

The Mandala of String Art is based on prime numbers, and the joy of creating a beautiful geometric pattern is the final result.

It is a simple movement of hanging a thread on pins, but if you don’t concentrate, you will make a mistake.

The time I spent concentrating on doing the process was quite pleasant for me.

On Monday three friends and I made flower-shape Mandalas, but the finished products were totally different.

because first, we chose six different colors of strings.

The four of us chose completely different colors.

And then we put the strings on the pins in turn.

In the quiet atmosphere of the main hall, the color I chose was green-my lucky color for this year.

The center was a gradation of yellow, and I used a little brown, then I made a green gradation.

During the process, the thread got tangled many times, and the teacher helped me out. I was able to create a beautiful piece of work.

I was very satisfied.

It reminded me of the bobbin lace I used to learn to make in England. Bobbin lace is very different from strings  art, because I use a lot of bobbins to make lace and put pins later. But it also reminded me of my teacher, who was a kind, elderly English woman.

It was a time to cleanse my mind, and I hope you will try it if you have the chance.

I cherish this time to talk with my heart.