Japanese embroidery, known natively as nihon shishu, is an embroidery technique that originated in the Kofun Period more than 1,600 years ago. The technique uses intricate patterning, silken threads and symbolic motifs worked on fine silk fabrics.
Nihon shishu was originally used for decorating items used during religious or spiritual ceremonies, but over time came to serve a more artistic purpose. During the early stages, the finest Japanese embroidery was only available to those in the highest ranks of society. However, years of trade, migration and multiculturalism has brought this cultural heritage to a much wider audience.