Kiyoko Urata

Temari Artist
Naniwa Temari Association
Osaka, Japan
Kiyoko Urata (1926-), a Temari artist was the president of Naniwa-Temari society in Osaka, Japan. The Temaris with icosahedral symmetry shown here were embroidered by her. Having no mathematical background, she made these icosahedral patterns by trial and error. Her original technique are compiled in her book “Naniwa Temaris” (1995).
Any spherical object was usually called Mari in ancient Japan. Temari is a ball held in hands (‘Te’). It has a spherical core made of cloth, chaff or wood in the past, or polystyrene in present times. On the surface, various spherical polyhedral patterns are subsequently embroidered by means of more colorful strings.
Statement and Description by Koji Miyazaki

Icosahedral Temari
15 x 15 x 15 cm
Silk thread
circa 1990
From around the 18th century, making Temari was enjoyed as a popular pastime among ladies. They seem to be usually decorated with dihedral, tetrahedral, or octahedral symmetry, because icosahedral symmetry was not common in Japan then. Around 1950, a high school teacher of mathematics taught a Temari artist how to decide the position of vertices of a spherical regular icosahedrons to use one of the sphere's poles as one of the icosahedron's vertices first, then to wind a string along a great circle through the pole and to plot a point on the great circle from the pole whose distance is G/6+G/100, where G is the length of the great circle to be the second vertex of the icosahedron. This is how icosahedral Temari was started.
Icosahedral Temari
15 x 15 x 15 cm
Silk thread
circa 1990
Icosahedral Temari
15 x 15 x 15 cm
Silk thread
circa1990