While in the West toys were traditionally sewn, crochet toys origin in Japan. Their name “amigurumi” is a fusion of two Japanese words: “ami”- soft toy and “nuigurumi” – crochet. In fact, these toys are the product of another unique fusion: the fusion of Western crochet craft, which wasn’t widespread in Japan before World War II, with Japanese “kawaii” (cuteness), which emerged and flourished in the fifties and brought us cultural icons such as Hello Kitty. Amigurumies reached the West only in the last millennia, but since then their popularity grows exponentially.
Well then, what is the secret of these toys’ appeal? Is it the new and exciting application of a traditionally utilitarian craft such as crochet? Or the contrast between coarse crochet fabric and the sweetness of little toy? Maybe, the peace of mind that crocheting brings to our fast and tense modern life? Or simply the fact that anybody (after some training) can make these sweet creatures, with nothing more than a crochet hook and a ball of yarn?
What do you think? Why do you like amigurumies?
This post is also available in he_IL.