Mizuko Kuyo

Mizuko kuyo or “the ritual of apology and remembrance” is a Japanese ceremony for those who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion or infant death. Some say it has roots in Buddhism, while others say no, it’s actually a modern construct with mysoginist intentions (meant to shame women publicly). Some argue further still that it’s a cash-cow for temples who charge $700 or more to “rent” a “Jizo” statue.

Why the red hats? According to Japanese folk belief, red is the color for “expelling demons and illness.


I think mizuko kuyo is beautiful and tragic and difficult – there just couldn’t be a right or wrong here, it’s far too complex – we humans have too many tales that break the mold. As I get older, it seems to me that we *all* break the mold somehow. I guess this makes me a postmodernist.

In any case, I’m truly fascinated by this practice and will read more in the coming days – if you’re interested too, follow the Wikipedia links for more information and links to scholarly resources.


Photos shared by Daniel J Ortiz Nevares, thanks Daniel!


About The Author


Danielle Holke is a long-time knitter, first taught by her beloved grandmother as a young girl growing up in Canada. In 2008 she launched KnitHacker, a lively blog and knitting community which has since grown to be a popular presence in contemporary knitting culture, reaching more than a million readers each year. As a marketing professional, Danielle advises and works with a motley squad of artists, yarn bombers, film makers, pattern designers, yarn companies and more.

Learn more about her latest book, Knits & Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany.

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