CHIRIMEN ZAIKU is a handicraft made of HAGIRE (waste pieces from cutting cloth) and said to have started practicing in EDO period.
At that time, it was a toy for children or a charm against evils.
I got fascinated by this pretty and nostalgic handicraft when I visited KAMAKURA (see the past article for this city) and there found an exhibition by chance.
Since the artist of all the works displayed, Ms. KYOKO TATEWAKI was there, I immediately asked her to let me join her class of CHIRIMEN ZAIKU.
Unfortunately, the class was already full as she had just started the lesson, I gave my contact information for the next chance when she add another class.
About 6 months later, I received her phone call and luckily I came to participate to her class held in FUJISAWA city.
All her works are highly artistic and charming different from traditional CHIRIMEN ZAIKU.
To make CHIRIMEN ZAIKU, it is needed to line all the ancient HAGIREs made of pure silk, then cut them down into each part according to the design.
The smallest part could be even in millimeter size. After all the parts get ready, sew the parts together by hand with backstitches, so it takes 8 to 10 hours to complete a work.
My favorite works of Ms. TATEWAKI are “HAKO-MONO”, small boxes such as “KŌ-BAKO” (incense box) and “TAKARA-BAKO” (treasure box).
To make HAKO-MONO, prepare the parts for lid, frame and bottom by cardboard and then cover them by HAGIREs from silk crepe or the fabric for OBI.
Learning a lot from Ms. TATEWAKI, I also become to teach CHIRIMEN ZAIKU and held exhibition for the works of my students and myself.
Here goes some pictures of the exhibition.
And the works of my class!
You will find more works by large pictures in the Gallery page!