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

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

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. On this trip she followed a path of clean, fresh air to the township of Takachiho, Miyazaki. There she came across nawa-kazari, straw amulets, made from rice straw an artisan grows himself and painstakingly braids into traditional objects of good fortune.

Contemplating the finished Iwai Dori. “In this delightful shape, I can see, is contained great meaning, great devotion.”
Harvested rice drying on racks in the sun, following the ancient method.
Contemplating the finished Iwai Dori. “In this delightful shape, I can see, is contained great meaning, great devotion.”
Harvested rice drying on racks in the sun, following the ancient method.
On this day he made a lovely rooster amulet. He first wet the straw amply, then worked the strands to form the taut braid. The regular, mellifluous sound of sharashara, sharashara as he brought his hands together, along with the way he holds them, all contributed to the image of a person rapt in devotion.

“Generally, nawa braiding is done with the right hand moving to the outside. But I prefer doing it the opposite way, with my right hand moving inward. This is how the shimenawa craftsmen did it in the old days, and I’m told the method delivers one greater happiness,” said Mr. Kai. Indeed, there’s meaning in even the minutest hand movement.
Every December they make exclusive shimenawa just for the local community.
Inserting ornamental pieces into the tightly-pulled nawa using a bamboo tool.
Every December they make exclusive shimenawa just for the local community.
Inserting ornamental pieces into the tightly-pulled nawa using a bamboo tool.
Then back to making the shape of a rooster by pulling and braiding the nawa, and he offers that, “the time that I sit down and braid is a comfort to me…”. And in fact, the most trying aspect of straw craft is the cultivation of rice in the paddy. Excessive rain will wipe out the year’s straw altogether. “There is only so much you can do in the face of nature, and I spend every day in prayer. So when I finally arrive safely at harvest I’m full of joy. I feel grateful to be able to make things that people keep close to them for their own supplication.” My selection this time is the “Iwai Dori” (Celebratory Rooster), an act of prayer shaped by hand upon straw. It is the origin of handcraft, from the realm of the mythic.

Straw Amulet / Iwai Dori by Yoichiro Kai

Right / A significantly important talisman in the shape of a rooster, which has been viewed as a divine messenger from ancient times. This one is true to the roots of the craft, touched with an air of modern-day style. 32 x 20 cm, ¥3,200 Left / Iwai Kame (Celebratory Tortoise, small). 20 x 12 cm ¥2,400 Warazaiku Takubo / Tours are open from February through July only. Arrangements must be made by mail contact in advance. Official Site

KASHIYUKA

Yuka Kashino, known as KASHIYUKA, is a member of the electro-pop group Perfume. Upon completing their Japan arena tour in support of their latest album “Future Pop”, they’ll embark on a world tour, beginning next spring, for shows in North America and Asia. She’s recently begun to take special interest in lighting for the home. www.perfume-web.jp