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. We enter 2019 with the first foray of the KASHIYUKA Shop’s second year, and it took her to Takasaki, in Gunma prefecture. There she visited a maker of Takasaki Daruma, a traditional talisman that invites good fortune and dispels evil.
It touched my heart to hear a woman on staff tell me, “There are many varieties, from five centimeters to more than 70. But whether large or small is of no matter; the process, the effort, is exactly the same.” As she painted a set of tiny Daruma, about small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, it appeared to me as though she were looking after precious little children, one by one. Now that I think of it, when earlier the veteran artisan removed the figure from the mold, he seemed to gently stroke each Daruma on the head. Every single one seems crafted with an abundance of affection.
The Takasaki Daruma has always been a customizable product. The purchaser orders the premade figure with his or her wishes inscribed in gold. For this purchase I bought a Fuku Daruma, which bears the character for “fortune”. My wishes to all for your own good fortune in this new year!
Fuku Daruma / Daruma no Kouki
The mini size fits in the palm, in red or white, the traditional color combination of good fortune. 0.3-maru Daruma; height, about 5 cm, ¥200 each. Available in 17 sizes. Gold lettering lining the sides is done to order. Daruma no Kouki / 12-7 Kamioshima-machi, Takasaki-shi, Gunma. Tel: 027 344 1043 The studio has a retail shop.
Yuka Kashino, known as KASHIYUKA, is a member of the electro-pop group Perfume. In February, they’ll embark on a world tour in support of their latest album, “Future Pop”, for shows in North America and Asia. Lately her interest has turned to the kimono and its extraordinary sash. www.perfume-web.jp