Why Amigurumi is Such a Sweet and Popular Craft

Crocheting amigurumi toys during lockdown can make you smile!


Cute amigurumi crocheted animals.

(manbo-photo / Shutterstock.com)

January is here. Jack Frost’s icy patterns sweep across windows and snowmen pop up in yards. As the global lockdown offers less opportunities to venture out, this is an ideal time to enjoy the indoors and perfect the art of coziness.

Here is a sweet and cozy way to enjoy time indoors that is gaining popularity. Nurture your creative side by taking up amigurumi, the Japanese form of crocheting. It is easy to do, offers hours of fun, and has a large and growing following. Take out a crochet needle and awaken your imagination!

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small, cute dolls. It comes from the Japanese words ami (crocheted) and nuigurumi (stuffed toy). This art form has been popular since the days of the samurai, who would decorate their clothing and swords. It continued to grow in popularity in Japanese culture and gained a following in the West in 2003. Thanks to internet craft sites and YouTube videos, it has become a beloved hobby worldwide.

The world of amigurumi is sweet, cuddly, and smiley. The creations range from curious puppies, honey-loving bears, and glittery princesses to the fantastical, with sleepy unicorns, shy mermaids, and forest spirits. These characters develop personalities and go on quests, with their adventures shared on social media, as shown on Amigurumi Today.

These imaginary, innocent animals bring joy and delight to followers. In fact, an amigurumi group on Facebook has close to a quarter million followers. The group offers 4,000 patterns of cute animals as well as a monthly event where participants all work on the same pattern, sharing questions, advice, and photos with each other. January 2021’s contest is about a robin called Gin who was carried to the north pole and landed atop the nose of a polar bear. Gin’s adventures tell much about how this world stirs people’s world of fantasy!

Their imagination seems to fly as fast as the crochet needles, inspiring them to knit clothing, hair styles, and accessories for each creation, all in the name of cuteness. In fact, the magical attraction behind amigurumi is the Japanese philosophy of kawaii, which means adorable. In Japan, the culture adores the childlike look as it inspires innocence, sweetness, and engenders the idea of harmony. 

Kawaii has inspired popular Japanese animes like Pikachu and Hello Kitty, and is becoming one joyful global phenomenon. This is because cute animals easily cross cultures and are loved by all. Such positive responses are even backed by science. A study shows that cute objects are captivating, make people smile, and induce happiness and attentiveness.

Bringing kawaii into your home creates smiles. Amigurumi creations are easy and fun to make, and can be calming. This activity is also bound to ignite creativity and may connect you with others who appreciate soft, sweet, and often curious creations. If you place your cute amigurumi on your windowsill, you may even get a smiley face the next time Jack Frost drops by!

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