The 82 years old craftsman Masamitsu Hirazumi creates unique shimenawa with Igusa straws.
"Gobo" means burdock and "Neri" means kneading. Since the burdock roots are very long and very healthy vegetables, it represents longevity and happiness. This thin-to-thick Shimenawa is the traditional shape in South-west Japan. Every prefecture has different traditions and the Shimenawa shapes come differently.
Since ancient times, the left side is sacred and the right side is profane (everyday), so when viewed from the gods, the original thick part is on the left (from the human perspective, the original thick part is on the right) .
*The tortoise ornament is attached on the base with wooden picks. You can leave the tortoise ornament on the Shimenawa, or take it off.
Each piece is handmade in Kumamoto Japan, and varies slightly, making each piece unique.
- Each item is handmade and may vary slightly
- Approximate measurement (without hanging strings): 33"W x 13"L x 4" thickness
- Material: Igusa straw, mud dyed
- Care instruction: to clean, gently wipe the surface with a dry cloth. Do not hand wash or make wet.
- Enjoy it changing color over time. The greenish color will fade but it's the beauty of the natural materials!
- Due to natural material, please handle with care. It likes to be in dry places.
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.