Inspiration file 37
Animal sanctuary ~ a hand-embroidered art of peaceful landscape


The coldest season called “Daikan”*) has come to Japan. On such a freezing day, I introduce a beautiful and heart-warming embroidered art.

The embroidery artist Yuki Horiuchi created the work in the above picture. Can you believe everything in the picture is needlework? The flowers and animals depicted in detail by using colorful threads and various embroidery techniques are just incredible! While sheep’s crimpled hair looks startlingly real, Bambi the white-tailed deer with beautiful fur is depicted adorably. The reflection on the pond of the sheep drinking water was embroidered as well. This tranquil landscape with animals has a whimsical atmosphere. It may be the image of animal sanctuary that came across Horiuchi’s mind.

Going to Horiuchi’s website, you can see a lot of her embroidered art depicting plants and animals. Each has a lovely title named by Horiuchi; “Kokoro no izumi (spring in the heart)”, “Nemuranai yoru (sleepless night)”, “Fushigi no mori no okufukaku (deep in the dreamy woods)”, “Kagayaku inochi no atsumari (ensemble of bright life)”, “Hitotsubu no yuki no monogatari (tale of a drop of snow)”, and so on.

Horiuchi says, “In the picture is a part of my latest production. The work itself is approximately 30 centimeters in diameter. It is the biggest one I have ever made so far.”

What does the whole piece look like? Apparently it is a rather elaborate masterpiece. The work will be displayed at “Sesse – Contemporary Embroidery Exhibition” held at Hankyu Umeda Main Store in Osaka from February 5, 2014. I cannot wait to see it!

For Yuki Horiuchi’s website, go to

*) The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms. “Daikan”, which is the 24th term in the lunisolar calendar and literally means “great cold”, is considered the coldest period in the year. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around January 20 and ends around February 3.