Cute Things From Japan – Amigurumi


From Wikipedia

Amigurumi (lit. Knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically cute animals (such as bears, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc.), but can include artistic renderings, and inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features. Amigurumi can be either knitted or crocheted. In recent years crocheted amigurumi are more popular and more commonly seen.

Amigurumi are usually crocheted or knitted out of yarn. The simplest designs are worked in spirals. In contrast to typical Western crochet the rounds are not usually joined. They are also worked with a smaller size hook in proportion to the weight of the yarn in order to create a very tight-looking fabric without any gaps through which the stuffing might escape. Amigurumi are usually worked in sections and then joined, except for some amigurumi which have no limbs, only a head and torso which are worked as one piece. The extremities are sometimes stuffed with plastic pellets to give them a life-like weight, while the rest of the body is stuffed with fiber stuffing.

The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities


Amigurumi is popular here in the west. But with its origins in Japan, that is considered the place to get designs and ideas from. While it is not as popular as it was as it was amigurumi books and magazines are available in Japan in bookstores. The most popular animals would likely be bears and pigs because they are pink.
If you would like to try amigurumi now, here are some sites with links to amigurumi patterns:

And a big thanks to Melissa for finding us an awesome amigurumi monkey pattern!

17 Responses to “Cute Things From Japan – Amigurumi”

  1. Ro  on October 8th, 2009

    Love it! Where did you get the picture of the kokeshi amigurumi from? It’s gorgeous.

  2. Travis  on October 8th, 2009


    Flickr is filled with some great arigurumi. The kokeshi one I found is here:

  3. stacey  on October 8th, 2009

    I am glad you liked the article ro…aren’t they the cutest things ever!

  4. inrepose  on February 1st, 2010

    Very sweet little doll. Love the little monkey, the smaller items are the best :)

  5. Petra  on March 27th, 2010

    I like your article! :)

    Do you by any chance know whwere I can get readymade amigurumis in Tokyo?! Im going there next week and would like to get some eith me home!

  6. Travis  on March 27th, 2010

    That’s a tough one Petra. Since amigurumi are often hand made, I’m not sure exactly where they would sell them in Japan.

    The good news is, if it’s cute, you’ll probably find it for sale somewhere in Japan :)

  7. Happy Birthday Samantha! « DR. LILL  on August 23rd, 2011

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  8. Sue  on November 3rd, 2011

    This little monkey is adorable! Does anybody have the pattern for it?

  9. Melissa  on December 1st, 2011

    Oops it’s not exactly the same, but pretty close!

  10. Travis  on December 1st, 2011

    That’s awesome Melissa! You won’t believe how many emails we get from people asking about this little amigurumi monkey :)

  11. sasksak  on December 1st, 2011

    Melissa, thanks so much! I’m sure a lot of people will appreciate it!

  12. Anahit  on February 12th, 2012

    Omg! I love the monkey! Where can I buy one?

  13. Deborah81  on February 26th, 2012

    I would like to buy the tiny sock monkey. Is that possible

  14. righecolorate  on October 17th, 2012

    Really beautiful!!!

  15. sasksak  on October 17th, 2012

    Sorry, we don’t know where to buy the adorable miniature sock monkey. It’s pretty sweet tho isn’t it!

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