japan knitting

Knitting on NHK

Some gorgeous handknits seen on NHK’s “Totonechan”. NHK (the public broadcast network of Japan) is famous for their 15 minute drama programs that run every Monday-Saturday for six months at a time, usually based around a young woman during a tumultous time period in Japan. Right now we have Totonechan (Big Sister Toto), and it’s set in the late 1930s during Japan’s military aggression into Asia. Resources are going to the warfront, so the people back home have to make do with less. Tsuneko, the main character, and her sisters live in a tiny room with their mother. Together they make about enough money to eat and send the younger two sisters to school.

Tsuneko’s younger sister loves to knit, and all of them have handknit sweaters that I’ve been admiring every morning. They don’t seem to be able to afford any else and so they wear them every day. But they are just beautiful, and you can see every stitch clearly. I’m glad NHK found someone to handknit them, and whoever they were knew to make them imperfect. The seams are a tiny bit sloppy, the gauge is uneven. I have a feeling the colors are a little brighter than yarn available at the time, but I’m curious now to research a bit more into knitting culture in Japan before and after the war.

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