A group of floral design artists and an apparel company have been working to let more people know about "Hanatsutsumi," the flower wrapping art originating in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, by creating a promotional character and a video piece.

The people involved in the project have said they are trying to start a full promotional campaign online using the items by the end of the year.

Hanatsutsumi features combinations of colors and ways of folding that are suitable for each flower or bouquet. The art is believed to have been typically used when people offered flowers at funerals and similar solemn ceremonies in the past.

To breathe new life into the art today, Ashida Isshun, a leading member of the Enshu School of the Kado traditional flower arrangement art, and three other floral designers formed a study group called Kyoto Hanatsutsumi Kenkyukai.

The group based in the western Japan city says it will try to talk the organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics into using Hanatsutsumi in various ceremonies during the sports extravaganzas.

Takeshi Wakabayashi, president of apparel maker Wakabayashi Inc. in Kyoto, is helping the bid. His company known for the popular brand name Sou Sou has tried to make the Hanatsutsumi art as part of the educational video clips it creates to raise awareness of Japanese culture among children.

Atelier Siesta, the producer of the videos, created an original mascot character called Hanatsutsumi-chan, a flower-loving child who will appear in 1-minute-long promotional footage with a song written by singer-songwriter Hiroyuki Harada.

Ryuho Sasaoka, head of the Mishoryu-Sasaoka School of the floral art and an associate of the study group, shared appropriate ways to handle and wrap flowers with the producers of the video clip for the Hanatsutsumi art during a production meeting last month.

"People tend to think traditional culture's rules are too strict or it is hard to approach, but if you give it a try, you'll have fun," Wakabayashi said.

Wakabayashi said he hopes the ongoing project will encourage more people to get to know the Hanatsutsumi art.

The Kyoto Shimbun official