Claudia Wollny's book The Secrets of Kikko: With 85 Variations of the Famous Tortoise Shell Pattern for Braiding on the Marudai is best described by the author herself:
“Kikko is beautiful and mysterious ... It is one of the oldest braided patterns in Japan and was often used as a “sageo“, a band used by samurai to fasten their swords to their obis and also as decorative wrap on the scabbard when the sword was not being used. The hexagonal pattern is reminiscent of a tortoise shell and should give the wearer a life as long as that of a tortoise. Even today, the Kikko pattern holds us in its spell. The old masters were right: The tortoise has a long life!
This book shows how Kikko is braided on the marudai with 32 tama. In addition, the braid can be easily modified into countless other, new patterns, of which 85 variations are shown here. The braid is analyzed and the “track plan“ deciphered, revealing the “tracks“ on which the threads move when braiding and how the braid is constructed. The blank pattern makes it easy to design and braid patterns to your liking.
A detailed basic course with step-by-step photos explains the knots used, how to prepare the tama, how to prepare a marudai with pre-cut silk, single threads, or how to make the strands yourself using thin threads, as well as the main braiding moves. Finishing a braid beautifully and how to safely transport a braid on the marudai complete the basic instructions.”
Import, in German and English, full color, hardcover, 96 pages