Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts /[LANTERN] | ページ 2 | カーサ ブルータス Casa BRUTUS

Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts /[LANTERN]

『カーサ ブルータス』2021年6月号より

Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. This was her encounter with a lantern made of washi paper, produced in an area once known as “Iyo no Kuni” in Ehime prefecture. This beautiful “supporting actor”, as it’s thought of, has had a role in seasonal festivals, adorning procession floats and shrines for as far back as two centuries.

Mr. Toru Hino, wrapping the skeletal structure of a large-scale chōchin.
Paste for attaching the washi paper is also handmade.
There are numerous chōchin in the studio, including the o-matsuri chōchin that are round and squat, as well as jumbo-sized ones more than 40 cm in diameter. Everything is handmade. The basic structure is bound together with strings on a hinoki wood frame, upon which wet washi paper is mounted. The following day the hibukuro (literally, “bag of fire”) is removed from the frame, an interior layer of washi is applied, and letters and patterns signifying the name of the locale are painted on. The painting component uses a unique pigment that is made by soaking a sumi ink block in water for a half day, then hand-grinding it for over an hour. I was surprised to note that the lettering isn’t done in the typical way, but more like illustration, where outlines are drawn and subsequently painted in.
“Here’s hoping the traditional festivals throughout the country will resume very soon…” says KASHIYUKA.
After pasting, excess paper is trimmed with a razor.
“Since the body is defined by tiny ridges, if you were to use the lettering brush in the normal manner the lines would appear irregular. I use the method I do so the characters appear to be typical brushstrokes.” And the reason a whole day is taken to prepare the ink is so that the black color and the chōchin itself will remain intact longer. After the letters and patterns are applied, the paper is oiled and left to dry for 20 days, the oil giving the paper a degree of waterproofing against rain and the humid night air. His fixated visage and concentration while fitting the lantern structure onto the mold were impressive. A tremendous amount of work, time, and passion is expended in making each lantern.
The outline is first drawn, then filled in, so there are no irregularities in the lettering.
“The festival is like our New Year. We spend the year preparing for October, and on the day of the festival, people actually greet one another with ‘Happy New Year!’ The festival holds such a special place in peoples’ hearts. The chōchin may only play a supporting role, but there’s such anticipation that we can feel the pressure, and that just drives me to do my best,” says Mr. Hino. The power people derive from the festival is amazing! Each Iyo Chōchin is small in size, but seems to have a giant volume of energy and passion poured into it.

Iyo Chōchin by Iyo Chōchin Kōbō

Right: Large-sized chōchin inscribed with family crest. Left: Celebration Chōchin, which has the same shape as the festival chōchin. Names and Chinese zodiac motifs are drawn to order. About 24 cm in diameter. From ¥11,000. Made to order. Iyo Chōchin Kōbō 796-3 Fukutakekou, Saijo-shi, Ehime. TEL 090 1000 0311.

Yuka Kashino, known as KASHIYUKA, is a member of the electro-pop group Perfume. They have announced a pair of arena shows titled “Perfume LIVE 2021 [polygon wave]” on August 14th & 15th at the Pia Arena MM (Minatomirai) in Yokohama . Their popular project "Perfume Closet" Vol. 5 Phase 2 is now on sale. Her favorite festival is the Flower Festival in her hometown of Hiroshima. Website: www.perfume-web.jp