Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chirimen zaiku

I got my hair cut on Sunday.

I've been going to the same hairdresser for nearly 10 years now, an older lady who lives nearby and has her shop behind the great cedar trees so famous to this area. Hair cutting was a pretty normal experience but what I like best about going to this lady is that there are usually no other customers there, (only a few obaachan know she is back there), the price is good and after my haircut my hairdresser/friend will show me what she's been making recently!

This is called Chirimen zaiku, known as crepe crafting in English. My hairdresser/friend has only been going to classes a few years now and she says she doesn't really have much time outside of her lesson days (she lives behind the shop and takes care of her grandchildren too). She looks like she's getting pretty good to me!

Historically, Chirimen zaiku began when noble ladies would use the scraps from their kimonos to make little bags, flowers and toys. The pouches would be stuffed with incense and carried around as fragrant sachets within the folds of their obi (belt) and the dolls and other decorations would be strung and displayed on Girls Day. There are now countless patterns and ornaments and each one has a special meaning... a crane will convey hope for a long life, a treasure bag will add wishes for wealth, a flower will express the desire that a young girl be lovely all her life.

My hairdresser/friend has made Girls Day dolls...

...little soldiers (I guess)...

...and a beautiful hanging of flower buds and a bunny! This summer she is working on making colorful goldfish. I'm looking forward to getting my hair cut again in a couple months!

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