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2008/8/29


はりみ(紙製ちりとり) Harimi(Kamisei-Chiritori) Harimi (Paper Dustpans)

Jp En

When most rooms in Japanese houses had tatami floors, an easy daily cleanup was done with broom and dustpan. Sweeping removed dust quickly and was a simple activity that kept everyday life clean.

Such scenes are seen less and less often these days, but is this a good thing, even though our lifestyles are getting more diverse? Just to clean up a small space, we have to pull out a vacuum cleaner, use it for a short period, then put it back.

Bearing this in mind, why don't you keep a broom and 'harimi' (paper dustpan) in your room? A harimi is made from Japanese paper coated with persimmon tannin, and the size is about 20cm. The color of a harimi is appropriate and it will fit in with any kind of room. The size is quite small and it does not appear jarring.

Daily tools like a harimi look wonderful, even when left lying around in a room. Moreover, a harimi is very useful when used with a small broom for little spaces such as desktops and shelves.
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2008/5/20


三度笠 Sandogasa Sando-gasa Hat

Jp En

Sando-gasa is a hat woven with bamboo or sedge.
Unlike most other hats that have a triangular pyramid shape, sando-gasa has a thin flat shape that is rounded towards the top and, seen head-on, it looks more like a thick horizontal line.
Sando-gasa is most commonly seen worn by yakuza, or gangsters, in Japanese period dramas. However, it was generally an express foot messenger who wore the hat regularly.
The messengers would travel both ways between Edo (Tokyo), Oosaka and Kyoto three times a month, and thus, were called “sando hikyaku” or three time messengers. The hats they loved were, accordingly, named sando-gasa.
The hat is wide enough to cover a person’s shoulders and can protect sufficiently from rain if the rain is not too hard. It is also very light and was often used by traveling merchants who wanted to avoid any excess weight other than their wares.
Inside, the hat is equipped with a circular head pedestal called atamadai which makes the hat fit quite well on the head.
Sando-gasa is a simple yet well designed hat filled to the brim with ancestral wisdom.
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2008/3/5


武家造 Buke-zukuri Buke-zukuri

Jp En

Buke-zukuri is an architectural style used for residences of the bushi, warrior class, during Kamakura period.
Buku-zukuri is considered a simplified version of Shinden-zukuri which was a residence for aristocrats during Heian period. In Shinden-zukuri, a main building called shinden was built facing the south garden. In the east and west of the sinden were sub-buildings called tainoya which were connected to the shinden by corridors called wataridono. Each taiya building had another corridor toward the south to connect to another building called tsuridono, which literally means a fishing building, that formed a bridge over the pond of the garden. Buku-zukuri had a similar but much simpler style using a roof structure covered with boards or planks and wooden board flooring. It is also believed that the buke-zukuri house had a kind of castle like facility to protect itself from the outside. However, no such example has ever been found so details are not known. Thus, buke-zukuri is not commonly accepted as an original style.
Shoin-zukuri in Muromachi period was believed to be based on buke-zukuri. Kinkaku-ji Temple built in the early Muromachi period showing fine harmonious blends of three different architectural styles: shinden-zukuri on the first floor, buke-zukuri on the second floor and Zen Butsuden-zukuri on the third floor. The temple shows the transition of the style to shoin-zukuri which is more evident in Ginkaku-ji temple that was built later.
It should be noted that Buke-zukuri is sometimes confused with buke-yashiki in Edo period, but it is a completely different style.
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