A memorial ceremony for broken needles with a history of more than 1,000 years
Hari Kuyō is a memorial ceremony held for bent or broken needles that can no longer be used, and has been carried on in Japan since ancient times. The ceremony also signifies prayers to improve their skill at needlework. Hari Kuyō is performed in many areas around Japan. In Kyoto, the memorial service is held at Horin-ji Temple on December 8th and February 8th, and the broken needles are stuck into a soft material like konnyaku jelly. In this ceremony at Horin-ji Temple, sacred service and dance dedication are also taken place. This traditional event has continued since Heian period (about 1,000 years ago). As the number of people who do needlework at home has gradually declined in modern times, this kind of ceremony is now only performed at temples and shrines, but in the past, Hari Kuyō was once performed in homes as well. Hari Kuyō treats something even so small as a needle with a sense of gratitude. These classic events symbolize Japanese culture that people treasure things.