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Complex knitting in Japan traces back until at least the samurai period, when sword bags, underwear and other common items were hand knitted. Sword accessories for high-ranking samurai were knitted with colored silk threads and many were highly prized items. The Kimonos and other garments of the samurai class were also finely knitted, and often employed indigo. In fact, when the Meiji Dynasty came to power and the samurai fell out of the ruling class, many of them turned to working as knitters as their techniques were considered superior to others.

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