Hirazumi Shoten's Igusa ornament
I went to meet the couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hirazumi who make Shimenawa wall hangings with the Igusa plants. Kumamoto is known for Igusa plants which are the materials for tatami mat.
They were having an exhibition at the folk crafts museum in Kumamoto city, so unlike my usual buying trip I went to the “city” to meet them.
Masamitsu Hirazumi who was born in 1941 used to own a tatami mat (Japanese traditional mat) wholesale business.
After he retired he started creating his original ornaments since he loved handcrafting.
While he was running the tatami mat business he learned there were many straws that were treated as defective materials if they were 1 meter or less. He believed it was a waste of material since the farmers spent so much time growing the Igusa plants. He always believed they were long enough to create something small.
Since then he asked the farmers not to discard the shorter straws but to keep them to be used. Masamitsu enjoys creating something fun for everyday use.