balls are an folk art form that originated in China and were introduced
to Japan five or six hundred years ago. The balls were originally made
by mothers and grandmothers for the children to play with (they were
used in kickball and handball games similar to the hackeysack games
played around the
world today). Historically they were constructed from the remnants of
old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball,
then the wad wrapped with strips of fabric.