In the word Takadai, Taka means high and dai means stand. The taka-dai is a tall, vertical frame, equipped with an upper and lower rail on both sides. The braider sits between the rails, creates the shed, (a hand created path made by interweaving one hand over and under the threads), then casts (passes) the tama from side to side to create the interlacings of the braid. Channels in the rails allow koma (moveable, wooden blocks, with a line of pins in the center, that hold the thread bundles in place) to slide upwards during braiding, allowing the braider to advance the braid structure.

Historical records suggest early versions of the taka-dai came to Japan from China and Korea.  In 1976, a Shou- Taka-dai, (small, high frame) was invented by Aiko Sakai and is capable of making both Taka-dai and Ayatake-dai braids.  More common in the West are medium sized stands that are used with a chair.  Rodrick Owen, along with Janis and Dave Saunders (BraidersHand, established in 2001) pioneered the construction of the Western style Taka-dai.

Flat, obliquely interlaced, braids using two or four arms, are made on the Taka-dai. Using the ayadashi technique, complex, double-faced braids depicting Japanese kanji characters and pictorial images can also be braided.

Example of Double-Faced Braids






Click here for a video of Michael Hattori using the takadai.

Western takadai








Japanese takadai






Takedai components:

Key Components of the Takadai:

TORI  – (toh-ree) – Guide for threads/braid

TOME-BO – (toh-meh-boh) – Stopper or break, holds braid under tension during contsruction

MAKITORI-BOU – (mah-kah-toh-ree-boo) – winding bar, advances the braid during construction

HYOJUN-BOU – (yoh-joon-boo) –  standard bar

JYODAN –(yoh-dahn) – Upper rail

GEDAN – (geh-dahn) – Lower rail

KOMA – (koh-mah) – moveable, wooden blocks, with a line of pins in the center,  that hold the thread bundles in place

MIZORE – (mee-zoh-reh) – channel or groove where koma sit

HERA-TOU –(heh-rah-too) – Beater/sword – used to tighten the threads in place after movement