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|Kite widely used as playthings at
new years, date back to the days of Archimedes in Greece and ancient China, where they
were created initially to be used for physics or for military purposes.
In short, they were not made to be used as playthings but for practical purpose.
Rake, one of the good luck charm decorations with which one can rake in money and happiness.
Bamboo rakes are made into bear claw-like shapes and are attached to decorations such as women's masks, gold coins and other good luck charms.
tell us about your job.
Most of our works are kites and bamboo rakes.
In our kite-making work, we cover each step of the whole procedure, from the beginning to the end, including the frame workings and paintings.
We put together a"bear claw"using various decorations. There are very few people in the same line, 2 or 3 in Tokyo perhaps.
I'm the only woman in this trade.
As for kites, I've made some which are only around half of a name card in size, and the one as big as 3 tatami mats in size.
What induced you to enter this line?
Being form into the family business of "bear claw" makers, I took over the technique from father.
It has been more than 100 years since the family business started in the early Meiji era.
As I was raised up in a good environment, I was able to acquire every technique through getting involved in the work when I was young.
At the initial stage we used to make only bamboo rakes but we came to make kites as, well, because, in the process of "Dear claw" making, we have a lot of bamboo leftovers which are quite useable for making kites. I tried to make kites and give them to customers, and gradually they spread out among people becoming quite popular.
What's the most difficult part of your task?
Making paintings on the kite is the most difficult task.
When we paint Samurai Warriors on it, we have to know a lot about the past and have those pictures in our minds in advance.
It's really a hard task for us to picture the originals.
In the case of smaller kites, we are required to make a draft within a limited space, which needs advanced skills in order to create a certain look.
In particular, a touch of paint in the eyes could bring about a completely different feeling, so we paint the eyes first of all and then put life into them.
You're Message for Everybody.
Our traditional crafts should be preserved by all possible means. Among mothers of today, there are some who don't know the meaning of the word "Shokunin" or craftmen.
We want them to know that such people are working hard down technique to the next generation.