Creative Yamagata: Tap the inner artist in you!

By Hannah Karen Labayo (from : Philippines) on Oct. 25, 2016

By Hannah Karen Labayo (from : Philippines) on Oct. 25, 2016

Are you in for an art and craft session? What better way to use the left side of your brain by painting these wonderful Sasano wood crafts! Sasano is famous for its wood artisans! The wood carvings have various designs from birds, turtles, monkey, flowers, etc. take your pick!

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The owner of the place where we tried sasano bori (falcon woodcraft) painting told us that he is already the seventh generation of craftsmen of this kind of craft. Unfortunately not all families in Sasano continued with this kind of tradition so only a few people know how to do the wood craft business. The owner also told us that before they used to import these woodcrafts outside Japan however the wood craft business is declining every year. They also used to give these woodcrafts to popular people like Caroline Kennedy. I feel bad that there might come a time that this business may cease to exist and so I hope that the new generations in Sasano will consider to learn this craft and continue making it.

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It took a lot of time finishing our sasano bori and because of that I really give my hats off to the artists! Our finished product were of course not as good as the original but I felt a sense of accomplishment after finishing the painting of the wood crafts. I do not even bother to say that it is expensive because it really take some time, effort and skills just to finish one wood craft.

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By the these wood crafts during the early times were used as toys but as time passed by these wood crafts were not only used as a toy or as a display but also as a lucky charm. By the way in case you want to paint your own wood craft, you are free to do so! You may either copy the traditional design or completely make a new design fresh from your own idea! Hope you get to have a chance to experience painting this well-crafted wood arts in Sasano Yonezawa!

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What might seem like common practice and everyday values to local Japanese people can be new and attractive treasures through the eyes of people from different countries and cultures! There are so many unknown and enticing treasures just waiting to be discovered in Tohoku – come and find them!