Regarding the web site featuring the Naiki-dai, here is a rough translation of the Japanese text that accompanies it:
In order to follow what I have translated, I will use the same picture reference numbers. You will have to click back and forth to follow it but it is worth it as it is quite interesting:
At the top of the page is an introductory paragraph describing the exhibition of various contraptions that were in existence during the Edo period (~1603-1886), which was when Japan had its doors closed to the rest of the world and its arts and crafts were developed to such a fine extent. One of the "machines" that was picked for special study was the Naiki-dai and the following is translation of the text where the pictures of the dai begin:
The Naiki-dai: its Construction and the Method of Braiding
The hand-braiding dai include the Kakudai, Marudai, Ayatakedai, Makigumidai, Jûchô(?)dai, Takadai, and Naikidai. The Naikidai, also written [showing different kanji characters] Naikidai, made a sound like "gata-gata" when being operated and so was also called a Gata-gata naikidai. It is thought that the Naikidai was devised near the end of the Edo period for a Himitsu-shugi, or "secret sect", as it is completely different from the existing marudai, ayatakedai, and takadai; however there is no evidence in the Edo literature to support this. The principle of the Naikidai is the same as that of [modern] steel braiding machines; however, because it is hand-operated it can be changed in the middle of the procedure [not sure of the accuracy of this sentence...]; the combined quality of hand operation and the convenience of machine braiding made it, at one time, an often-used dai nearly countrywide.
Construction and Operation:
Naikidai Braiding Method:
That is the end of this section. From photo 9, the braid looks like a simple "maypole" type over and under braid; however, on Mr. Ohta's web site photos of his own Naikidai braids have patterns worked in and look more like a takadai braid to me.
Here is what he has to say about the Sankakudai:
"As the mirror is triangular, it is called a "triangle" dai, or "sankaku" dai. It is used to make three-stranded cords or "braids", or braids with an odd number of strands. As with the Kakudai, since the number of strands is few [and so mistakes and irregularities show clearly], a neat braid is very difficult and requires great skill and technique. The Sankakudai is seldom seen anymore; however it is possible to make Obijime that tie very easily with it."
There is a good selection of close-ups here .
Michael can be reached by e-mail.