Carna was named after the Roman goddess who had power over entrances and exits and was considered a guardian angel of daily life.
Carna folding wheelchair, which was completed after eights years of prototyping, has a jaunty and stylish design giving it a feeling more like the newest pair of sneakers. With light weight titanium being utilized for the frame, the Carna can be folded down into a compact size. It is designed to be finely adjustable to fit different needs and body sizes. Above all, a user will be comfortable using the chair for extended periods of time. It can be said that this wheelchair becomes the legs of the user.
Carna folding wheelchair is the permanent collection of Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
The Carna will become like a trusted guardian and it plays an important role to support the user’s everyday life, just as the word means.
・H86 x W61 x D90 cm
・9.5kg (seat 3kg)
Keiko Yoshida is the owner of Yoshida store in Daito-ku, Tokyo, that creates and sells Takarabune-kumade, or Treasure ship rakes, which are sold only at the Tori Fair of Ootori Shrine. Ms Yoshida was born in 1921 and is a master craftswoman recognized by Nihon Shokunin Meikoukai, the association for the Japanese Master Craftsmen.
Yoshida is currently the only store that creates Takarabune-kumade employing traditional methods, and Ms Yoshida continues to use the methods passed down since the Edo period. She initially started making the rakes to help her husband who was originally a carpenter. After his death, she became the head of the store and single-handedly manages the business.
Takarabune-kumade made by Yoshida store uses only natural materials of bamboo and paper. The whole manufacture process including cutting bamboo, cutting paper using a pattern, coloring, drawing faces, painting exterior, and insertion are done by hand. These techniques have been handed down to Ms Yoshida’s daughter, Kyoko.
Tori no Ichi, or Tori Fair, is a religious fair that takes place every November and is believed to have originally started at Ootori Shrine in Asakusa. Takarabune-kumade, or Treasure ship rake, is a harbinger of good luck, coming from a belief that rakes gather up good luck and prosperity, and they are available only at the Tori Fair of Ootori Shrine. The Takarabune rakes are currently made only in Yoshida store in Asakusa. The size of the rakes varies from 6cm to 3.4m. The store starts making the rakes immediately after the fair, taking a whole year to prepare for the following years event.
At first, paper is cut using a pattern, then lines are drawn followed by coloring. After the faces of Shichifukujin or the Seven Deities of Good Fortune, are drawn, they are inserted into the treasure ship with other decorations and finely balanced to finish. Drawing faces with their unique looks for the seven deities is the most difficult part. This hand drawing technique has been passed down for years since the Edo period. It is now practiced by Keiko Yoshida, head of Yoshida store, and her daughter, Kyoko.
Takarabune-kumade has brightly colored decorations of the seven deities, treasures and a sea bream. Although it is a rake with the tip of a straw festoon arranged to look more like a bow of a ship, it is created to have the look of a treasure ship. The rake, with its dominant red color, is referred to as a “red type” amulet. Takarabune-kumade is one of the most popular good luck charms in the Tori Fair of Ootori Shrine.
Japanese boxwood combs are not simply tools for the coiffure but also hair ornaments for women. Combs have an ancient history in Japan. They are depicted on ancient clay tomb figures of the Jomon Period (up to 200 B.C.), and a boxwood comb is referred to in a poem in the Manyoshu. Boxwood combs became objects of luxury; some are beautifully carved and others are decorated with Makie (gold and silver sprinkling). They have been flattered women’s beauty all through the times.
Boxwood combs attract special attention in these days as effective hair care tools, for they don’t produce static electricity, they don’t cause split ends or hair breakage, and their strokes are smooth and gentle.
In Kyoto, the production of boxwood combs started in the Heian period (794-1192). Because softness and gentleness of boxwood are ideal not only to human scalps but also to many traditional handicraft materials, boxwood combs are used as tools for producing wide variety of craft products typical to Kyoto such as Tsuzure-ori (tapestry weaving) in Nishijin and Kyo-dolls.
“Amahage” held in Akaishi area in Konoura, Nikaho City, Akita Prefecture, and Mega area in Fukura, Yuza-machi, Akumi-gun, Yamagata Prefecture, is a traditional folk event that is similar to nationally famous “Namahage” in Oga area in Akita Prefecture.
Amahage in Akaishi area in Akita Prefecture is held on Lunar New Year to pray for the health and well-being of the family. The event has been handed down in this village for over 250 years. The two boys selected from the fifth or sixth grade elementary school pupils play a part of Amahage. They apply black ink on their faces, get dressed in straw coats and visit every house in the village, beating Japanese bells and drums and singing. When they enter the house, they jump 15 times in front of the family altar to purify it. Then they make a request for 5 mon (Japanese old currency) of money or 1 sho of Japanese sake, and tasty rice cake
Amahage in Mega area in Yamagata Prefecture is held on January 3rd every year. A group of men wearing the masks of ogres or old men and the straw coats called “Kendan” visit every house in a village to admonish people not to be lazy and encourage being diligent. Amahage are thought to be the messenger of the god to get rid of the evils and bring happiness. Unlike Namahage in Oga, Amahage masks have gentle expressions. This Amahage is a nationally designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.
Ms. Miyahara was born in Shuri in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture in 1922. Hiving great interest and knowledge in the Shuri textile since very young, she entered the Okinawa Kenritsu Joshi Kogei Gakko (Okinawa Prefectural Women’s School of Arts and Crafts), where she learned dyeing. She met Muneyoshi Yanagi in the year of her graduation and went to Tokyo, where she studied weaving and dyeing with plant stuff under his guidance. After two years, she returned to Naha and taught at her former school. However, as the World War II turned Okinawa into burnt ground, the Shuri textile was virtually in danger of extinction.
The Shuri textile is the products of traditional dyeing and weaving techniques developed and handed down over five hundred years in the Shuri area in Naha. During the period of Ryukyu Kingdom, these fabrics were mainly worn by the nobility and warrior classes and the main weavers were wives and daughters of warriors.
Ms. Miyahara devoted herself to reviving the Shuri fabric traditions and organizing the craftspeople of the fabric. In 1972, when Okinawa was returned to Japan, she organized the Naha Traditional Textiles Association and contributed to the revitalization and succession of the Shuri textile. She was designated as a holder of an Important Intangible Cultural Property (known as a Living National Treasure) in 1998. Love for her homeland and the hope for the world peace are woven into the fabric woven by Ms. Miyahara.
It is believed that far in the future, Miroku Bosatsu, or Maitreya Bodhisattva will become a Buddha, and then appear on earth to save those unable to achieve enlightenment, thus bringing universal salvation to all sentient beings.
The most well-known statue of Miroku Bosatsu in Japan is the one housed at Reihokan (the temple museum) of Koryuji Temple in Uzumasa in Kyoto. This Miroku Bosatsu Hankashi-yui-zou statue represents the seated Miroku with the finger of the right hand touching the cheek, as if in deep meditation or musing. The mystic smile and the gentle and sensitive finger put on the cheek are breathtakingly beautiful. The round outline gives feminine-like impression. The smile on its face is generally called an archaic smile.
It is said that this red pine wooden statue used to be decorated with gold powder. There are two theories as to where it was carved; one theory states that it was brought to Japan from the Korean Peninsula judging from the facial expressions and the material wood, and the other theory states that it was carved in Japan. The argument is yet to be settled. The clear eyes seem to suggest that it was brought from the continent.
Ometsuki Festival, which dates back over 300 years, takes place every January 24th at Naburi, Ogatsu-cho, Miyagi Prefecture.
It is said to have started in 1781 after a big fire raged through the village and people started to pray at the shrine to prevent it happening again.
On the festival day, led by a person dressed as Shishi lion, Dashi portable shrines parade dynamically followed by Choujirushi portable shrines carried by children.
The biggest attraction in the festival is a series of performances called “Ometsuki”. What will be seen in the performances is kept secret until the day of the event. This is because young people who become lively after drinking “Omiki”, sake offered to a deity, used to demonstrate improvised performances on a whim. Ometsuki is said to have derived from the word, “Omiki” and “omoitsuki” or acting on whims. Although most of the themes in the performances are current social issues, they use a form of traditional Kyougen play with some similarity to Niwaka, a comical street performance, with exaggerated female and male roles. This is very unique in the nation and is a valued cultural event.
Ometsuki is designated as an important intangible folklore cultural asset by Miyagi Prefecture.