Temari balls are an art form that originated in Japan (or possibly China) five or six hundred years ago. The balls were originally made by mothers and grandmothers as toys for children to play with. The balls were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos.
As the stitching became more decorative, they transcended from play toys to art objects.
Temari balls became an art and craft of the Japanese aristocracy and their complexity increased. They now are a highly valued and cherished gift showing friendship and bestowing good wishes.