Japan has a rich culture of art. One particularly distinctive craft is “hariko,” which uses paper and glue to make figures. This technique originally came from China, but gained popularity in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1867). It involves layering paper carefully by hand to make toys and lucky charms. One popular hariko figure is the tiger. It was put outside homes when the son was sent to war. Hariko tigers were talismans that people believed would help the son return home safely, just like a tiger always returns to its den after a hunt.
The process of making hariko is time-consuming and labor-intensive. The initial step involves wetting thin pieces of paper and gluing them onto a wooden mold. This step is repeated to reinforce the item. Once the layers are all dry, a hole is cut in the paper to remove the mold. Then, a layer of powder made from crushed shells is mixed with glue and put on the item. Finally, it is painted with the desired design.
Hariko fell out of popularity during World War II. However, a number of artists around Japan are trying to revive the hariko tradition. One such artist is Hashimoto Shoichi, who is based in the Fukushima Prefecture. This area was hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Hashimoto wanted to do something to help with the reconstruction effort. He crafted a gigantic daruma doll, which, according to popular belief, protects from disaster.
Photo taken from the Internet / 照片翻攝自網路
The daruma had the Japanese word for “reconstruction” on its belly, and people were encouraged to write messages on it. The artist also facilitates workshops to help keep the tradition of hariko alive. He hopes to motivate people to learn about hariko and bring the art to the next generation. Hashimoto believes the possibilities for hariko are infinite!
Edo period 江戶時代
talisman n. 護身符；吉祥物
den n. (動物的)巢穴；活動場所
mold n. 模具；性格
Fukushima Prefecture 福島縣
tsunami n. 海嘯
reconstruction n. 重建；改造；重現
belly n. 腹部；胃
revive v. (使)復興；復原
1. craft n. 手(工)藝；技術／craft vt. (運用技巧)製作
Becoming a master of any craft requires years and years of practice.
2. popularity n. 流行；人氣
gain / lose popularity 受／不受歡迎
This director’s popularity increased rapidly after he won an Oscar.
3. layer vt. 分層放置；按層排列／layer n. 層；塗層
The architect layered the building with different materials to create a unique design.
4. initial adj. 最初的；開始的
Scientists are still in the initial stages of testing whether the new medicine is effective.
5. reinforce vt. 加固；強化；增援
This building is reinforced with a steel beam that runs through the middle of it.
6. gigantic adj. 巨大的；巨人的
The amusement park features a gigantic roller coaster that can be seen from miles away.
7. disaster n. 災難；災害
If the fire reaches the city, it will be a huge disaster!
8. motivate vt. 激勵；產生動機；激發
My coach always knows how to motivate me to work harder in practice.
9. infinite adj. 無限的；無邊無際的
The beauty of nature is infinite and can never be fully captured by words or images.
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