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5/20/2011

. Tokushima Folk Toys

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Tokushima Folk Art - 徳島県 



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Awajishima 淡路島 Awaji Island
Hyogo prefecture
Awaji originally means "the road to Awa",
the historic province bordering the Shikoku side of the Naruto Strait, now part of Tokushima Prefecture.

. WKD : Awaodori Dance 阿波踊り .
Dance during the O-Bon season in August.

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Awaodori no take ningyoo 阿波踊竹人形
bamboo dolls of the Awa dance


They are made in various parts of Tokushima, since after WW2.
They use hoteichiku 布袋竹 bamboo for it.
Phyllostachys aurea
A joint of the bamboo is used for the hip of the doll. Arms and legs are glued to this.
The first craftsman to make them was probably Fujita Yoshiharu 藤田義治.

quote
Locally grown bamboo is used in producing these bamboo figures of about five or six centimetres in length, modeled after Awa Odori dancers. Patient craftsmanship breathes life into the simple and natural materials, each doll slightly different from the next.
The traditional craft of making bamboo dolls that depict the culture of Tokushima is based on the motif of Awa Odori dancers pioneered by Yoshiharu Fujita from Naruto City, who began making such bamboo figures after World War II.
After the bamboo is bleached and dried,
the dolls are created by a detailed process of bending the twigs into shape. This is made possible by heating the nodes of the bamboo with an incense stick, but skilled craftsmanship is essential.
source : www.pref.tokushima.jp





時雨るるや竹人形のなびく髪
shigururu ya take ningyoo no nabiku kami

winter drizzle -
the bent hair
of bamboo dolls


Takayama Kaori 高山薫


. take gangu 竹玩具 bamboo toys and dolls .

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- - - - - More Tokushima products from this source

: aizome 藍染  Indigo Dye

: Shijira Weaving
Awa Shijira-ori is created by applying a different weaving tension to the warp and the weft. This technique brings out an uneven appearance (known as shibo) in the surface of the cloth.

: Handmade Paper
This high-quality paper is made with natural dyes, and has a subtle tint and soft texture that can only come from paper that is made by hand.

: Otani pottery
Otani pottery was originally made in the form of large urns in which Tokushima's well-known indigo dye was stored.

: Woodcrafts
furniture, wood fittings, and Buddhist altars

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Naruto town 鳴門市


Awa kubi ningyoo 阿波首人形 head dolls from Awa
from the Awaji Joruri Puppet Theater
ichimon deko 一文でこ, Awa no deko ningyo 阿波のでこ人形
They have been made since 1853, with very vivid facial expressions.
But now they are not made any more for the theater, but only as local souvenirs.


source : yahoo.co.jp/besshohidetoshi

. Kubi ningyoo 首人形 head dolls INFO .

. Bunraku and Joruri 文楽 . 浄瑠璃 .

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wanwandako, wanwan tako わんわん凧 "Wanwan" Wan Wan round kite (like a bowl)



WAN 「丸」や「円」 is a word of Naruto and the Awa region, meaning round.
These kites are famous in the Muya region 撫養.

The tradition of these huge kites dates back to 1695 and has been most cherished during the Taisho period around 1935.
Every village makes its own large round kite with a special pattern.


a ranking of the best from 1917 凧番付表 大正6年
- source : www.joruri.jp


- quote
A man-carrying kite would have to be big, but there have been some far larger than is necessary for the task. At least one was large enough to carry a man, together with his wife and child, and perhaps even a small grandmother. Though it in fact did not take on passengers, the largest kite in the world until its demise it was known as the wanwan, which was made and flown in the city of Naruto in Shikoku.

This kite was the apotheosis of Japan's ability to enlarge things normally associated with a modest scale to a size almost beyond comprehension. Reports of the actual size of giant, out-of-the-ordinary objects in Japan tend to be quite contradictory. This is not surprising, for one is hard pressed for accuracy or a point of reference when confronted with such unbelievable size.

The following figures, with attendant qualifications, are, I believe, reliable :
The wanwan kite, made of bamboo and paper, came in a variety of sizes from small to giant. The largest version was sixty-three feet in diameter; its shape was round but slightly flattened on the horizontal. This kite, together with its bridle and tail, weighed 8,800 pounds. Depending on the wind, 150 to 200 men were required to fly it.

The great kite was flown annually in a summer festival from the middle of the nineteenth century until 1914. Eyewitnesses to the wanwan festivals over the years variously reported that the kite was sixty to sixty-five feet in diameter and weighed from as little as 1,700 pounds to as much as 5,500 pounds.

In fact, the size of the giant wanwan varied from year to year. Also, large numbers of kites of different sizes were flown from day to day in the same festival period. The apparent discrepancies in weight can be accounted for by the varying sizes as well as by the inclusion or exclusion in the total of the weight of the bridle and flying line. Thirty-five to one hundred separate bridle lines, depending on the kite's size, would have been required. These lines add considerably to a kite's weight, and as a kite is actually lifting this weight, it is not unreasonable to count the bridles and flying line in the total weight of a kite.

The wanwan required a huge tail to help stabilize its flight; the largest wanwan required one five hundred feet long that was made from lengths of heavy ship rope.
Strong sea winds carried the huge kite aloft. Retrieving it was even more difficult than sending it skyward. The winch that let out the heavy flying line was held securely by virtue of being buried deep in the ground. Winch-reeling it in, however, was often impossible. An alternative was to walk it in ; that is, using a technique whereby the flyers walk down the line toward the kite, in this way shortening the flying line and causing the kite to come down. Not infrequently, the wind was too strong for the kite to be safely retrieved even with the combined strength of two hundred men. In such cases it had to be left flying until the wind died, allowing it to fall back to earth of its own accord.

ORIENTAL KITES: A BRIEF HISTORY

- source : Tal Streeter





a traditional Wan Wan from northern part of Shikoku Island. The image is Three Geishas from a print by Torij Kiyonaga (1752-1815). The Wan Wan is unique in Japan for its round shape -- reputedly based on a typical lacquer plate.
The washi and bamboo kite is six inches in diameter with an extended spar another three inches long.
- source : Gomberg Kites

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. Oasahiko Daruma 大麻比古
Deutsches Haus Naruto

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Tokushima town 徳島市


aitsuki o-kura 藍搗きお蔵 shed for pounding Indigo
When you pull the string, the three hammers start moving and it makes a sound :
gatagata ガタガタ.
In the beginning it was a toy for pounding rice with a water wheel, since the Meiji period. Since Tokushima is a great producer of Indigo, it changed to pound the indigo plant.



Awa Indigo is a well-known indigo dye produced in the Tokushima region.
The indigo is derived from the Polygonaceae plant that is cultivated in the Yoshino river basin. This plant was first cultivated during the Kamakura Era in the Mima-gun region of Tokushima, later shifting to the Oe-gun region. By the Edo Era, the lower river basin of the Yoshino River had become an important centre for indigo production, and with the patronage and protection of the local government, Tokushima became the nation's largest centre for indigo production.
. . . In 1968, the Awa Indigo dyeing methods were designated as one of Tokushima's intangible cultural assets. This method of dyeing is used in the production of clothes and interior furnishings.
source : aizome 藍染  Indigo Dye

. kometsukiguruma, kometsuki kuruma 米つき車 / 米搗車 wheels for pounding rice .

. WKD : Indigo plant (ai 藍)

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yoiyasho ヨイヤショ「布団山車」 festival float
From the autumn festival of the shrine Shisho Jinja 四所神社 in Tokushima town.

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jooruri ningyoo 浄瑠璃人形 puppet performance dolls

. Bunraku 文楽 puppet play and Joruji

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Tokushima no kakudako, kaku tako 徳島の角凧 square kite
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Awa yakkodako 阿波奴凧 Yakko kite from Awa




Yakkodako 奴凧 is one of the most well-loved kites in Japan. It is very difficult to fly without a tail, so children often attach about 3 meters of tails made by newspaper slips or other tape.
Now there is only one store in Tokushima which makes this kite.

. wadako 和凧 Japanese Kite - Introduction .

. yakko 奴 servant of a lord .


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. Reference and Photos . Gangu Guide .
. Reference and Photos . Isamu Folk Toys .
. Reference and Photos . Yama no Ie . Folk Toys .

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. WASHOKU . Regional Dishes from Tokushima

MORE
. Tokushima Folk Toys - this BLOG .


. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011


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