Monday, April 13, 2009
Last week Tetsu noticed an announcement of a craft exhibition in our town so as a surprise he took me over to enjoy and snap pictures for my blog! This type of Japanese craft is called Tsurushibina and it means "Hanging dolls display." In other parts of Japan, Tsurushibina are seen instead of the doll's displays that are traditional on March 3rd (Girls' Day) but I haven't seen this custom so much in my area. I talked with one of the ladies and she said it was just a group of nine ladies and they have been meeting for the past 4 years to make the little dolls. Most of the little figures are made of Chirimen, a type if Japanese fabric that I think is actually rayon (though it means "gathered cotton") and some of the flowers and balls have been made from recycled kimonos.
Each of the little figures are supposed to mean something, for example the the little triangles are supposed to be traditional medicine pouches. These are charms for protection from sickness. The turtles are charms for long life. Maybe the cranes for peace etc. I'll have to find somebody who knows a bit more about them. Then all the little figures are attached to paper umbrellas that are covered by more kimono cloth and the finished display is supposed to be hung out on March 3rd. (I don't know why they were being displayed this week.)
One of my acquaintances told me that she had just recently started doing the Tsurushibina handwork and she was making the easiest decoration of flowers sewn to a ball. She had only gotten as far as making the flowers and hadn't learned how to attach them to a ball, but I took a picture anyway. These are made from the same Chirimen and it will be a colorful decoration when she is done. She suggested I try it too but I think I'll stick to patchwork.