Last weekend I was called to our sister Hostel in Asakusa to support and translate a very special event. The event is named “Japanese Traditional Arts and Crafts”.
At the exhibition with the same name there are nearly 40 Japanese traditional arts displayed. We had the joy to get to know and experience two of those firsthand.
During the first session our guests created, under the lead of professionals, so called Zabuton, japanese cushions that you will find besides knee-high Japanese tables.
When you see the pros at work it doesn’t seem to be too difficult at first but trust me, once you ripped your first hole in the cotton, you will be glad they guide you through every step. xD
In the afternoon another group of artists came and prepared a very special setting: wooden blocks to carve your own Japanese seal, the Hanko.
Here you can see the old Chinese version of a Kanji a guest chose to carve. The artists drew the Kanji on the stone block and we then went to work very carefully.
You really have to concentrate to not mess up your own stamp!
After you are done carving you press the finished Hanko onto a special red wax. The next step is to rub the paper you placed the seal on over a small block of dried bamboo bark.
This helps to evenly spread the ink on the paper.
Finished! Congratulations, you just made your own Japanese seal! Cool!
There will be another branch of traditional arts coming to Asakusa tomorrow so stay tuned for the next blog!