Hello everyone. This is Staff N.
Finally, the dehumidifier rental has arrived at my house.
However, it seems that the rainy season has ended in the Tokai region.
What a timing … I’ll use it a little and return it.
It looks like it will rain again next week, so I’m looking forward to the dehumidifier.
By the way, regarding BANKO’s “Hawk and Bear Exhibition” that I introduced earlier, I was fascinated by another hawk poppo.
I’ve always liked birds, but I’ve always seen the lovely name Poppo and the tail that curls that hard air like hair.
What I saw at BANKO this time is not the current product currently being made, but a relatively old one, mainly from the Edo period to the early Showa period.
When I first saw BANKO’s hawk poppo, I thought it was a black one-color paint, but the modern ones had faces and patterns drawn properly.
If you look closely at what was on display, there may have been a slight pattern.
Since it was an old one, most of them lacked tails and wings, but it was also cool.
I searched for such a hawk poppo.
The hawk poppo, which represents Sasano’s sword carving, is made using only one blade. The appearance of making a cut out tree with a single knife called Sarukiri is a masterpiece.
Wood carving folk crafts are made all over Japan, but when wood carving is usually done, various types of blades are used. Large blades are used when roughly shaping the wood according to what you want to make, and after that, various blades are used considering the part to be made and the amount of wood to be scraped. However, from the beginning to the end, the hawk poppo is made with one type of blade, Sarukiri.
The delicate hawk wings of the hawk poppo are also made with one sword, using the cutting edge of a large sarkiri dexterously. It is a master who is steadily carving without hesitation. A single Takagi quickly becomes a hawk, and as you see it, it becomes a single shape that brings you to life.
Sarukiri is a very large blade, and it has a shape that you wouldn’t think of making a toy. A craftsman of Sasano Ichitobori called Takayama skillfully manipulates this large blade to make a simple and beautiful traditional wood carving toy, Takapoppo. It takes a few minutes to build. Looking at the shape of the tree, considering the direction of the face, etc., it is said that it is made with a single knife, so it is true that the craftsman who has entered the season.
Japanese traditional crafts are attracting attention not only in Japan but also from all over the world. It seems that the craftsmen sometimes go to demonstration sales overseas, but the craftsmen of Takapoppo have also been demonstrating and selling overseas. You have shown the traditional Japanese craft technique of hawk poppo in the United States, Brazil, Taiwan, and various other countries.
Above all, Taiwan is said to have a line for demonstration sales. Some people come to buy it every day.
Using a large blade called Sarukiri to carve one piece of work is certainly powerful and delicate, and it is like magic. It is not unreasonable to be drawn in because the cutting edge of Sarukiri is skillfully used to carve out even the finest work. In the case of hawk poppo, it can be said that it is a craft that can be proud of in the world because it is carved on the spot and turned into a product.
Cosiabra is one of the wild plants, and has been used as a paint by squeezing the resin of wood and filtering it for a long time. At Otaka Poppo, this cosia bra tree is used as a material.
The Kosiabra tree is also called a tofu tree because its trunk is white like beech. Also, in the winter, in the snowy forest where food is scarce, the cosia bra tree seems to be a favorite of rabbits. If you find a cosia bra tree in winter, the rabbit will bite the buds cleanly. Therefore, in addition to the tofu tree, Kosiabra also has the name rabbit kajiri.
The material is soft and is the best material for one-sword carving. Because it is a soft material, the wings of a hawk can be cut into small pieces with a sarkiri. Of course, even though it is soft, it requires strength when carving, and it is a skillful technique to use a large blade called Sarukiri like your own hand, dig out the face of a hawk, and finely craft the wings. It cannot be done without.
Each craftsman who makes hawk poppo has its own unique face, but the fact that the orientation of the face and facial expressions change depending on the tree is another attraction of hawk poppo. All modern toys that can be made in large quantities have the same shape, but the hawk poppo that is handmade one by one is different. It’s a good souvenir, but it’s also a good idea to give your child the only traditional toy in the world.
Traditional crafts also have the role of handing down what has been made since ancient times, so it is important to make old-fashioned toys. It is said that the origin of all the craftsmen who are making is to make something that customers will be pleased with, that is only one. The 6th generation Takayama, Toda Kanfu, seems to have made hawk poppo using waste materials, tree branches, and ends.
There are also challenges that are different from the past, such as making hawk poppo that makes the best use of the bark of the tree. I have taken on these new challenges, thinking that few people will decorate the same thing over and over even if they make the same thing. It is important to inherit the tradition, but you cannot keep the tradition unless you make a new one. You are making it with a deep feeling for such a hawk poppo.
However, the making of this wonderful traditional craft called Otaka Poppo also has a problem of succession. It seems that there is a reality that young people are interested in it and it does not last long even if they come to learn. Making things is much harder than you might think, and it may be difficult to improve. I hope the younger generation will inherit this wonderful technique while the craftsmen who make hawk poppo can teach.
It is said that the lord of the Yonezawa domain, Uesugi Takayama, encouraged the making of this craft as a side business of farmers in winter. In addition to amulets, the crafts that have been handed down as lucky charms are carefully handmade by Takayama even today.
Originally it was a side business of farmers, but it seems that Mr. Kanfu Toda, the 6th generation Takayama, made it his main business for the first time. He first got involved when he was in the fifth grade of elementary school. When he cut his hand for the first time, he was told to remember the pain and remember not to get injured.
The hawk poppo is said to mean a toy in the Ainu language.
Uesugi Takayama was a daimyo in the middle of the Edo period and was the 9th feudal lord of the Yonezawa Domain in Dewa Province. He was the person who promoted the rebirth of the Yonezawa Domain, which was on the verge of returning to the territory, and is also known as a master of the Edo period. Uesugi Takayama learned that Yonezawa was closed to snow in winter and farmers were living a difficult life, so he paid attention to the hawk poppo that can be made even when it was closed to snow, and recommended it as a side business.
The hawk poppo contains the word “hawk” from Uesugi Takayama. Isn’t he also recommending that he liked it? It is said that it was a relief for the farmers at that time in winter. It is said that the inclusion of the character “Hawk” was recommended for amulets and increasing the amount of salary (the amount of salary given).
Uesugi Takayama is also famous for preaching, “If you do it, you have to do it.”
There is an anecdote that when John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, took office, he answered “Uesugi Takayama” to the question “Who is the most respected Japanese?”
It is said that he instructed him to dig with a single blade for the hawk poppo. Did he feel that the great charm of this hawk poppo is that he uses only one blade and a big one instead of using many blades? I think that it is because there was such a person named Uesugi Takayama that Otaka Poppo has been handed down for a long time in the Sasano district of Yamagata.
There are 12 kinds of hawk poppo, and it has a deep taste. Speaking of hawk poppo, hawks are famous, but peacocks, chickens, owls, etc. are also made. Owls have been cherished as a talisman bird and auspicious bird that calls fortune during the Ainu era. The owl with big eyes and chunky hawk pop has various textures depending on the creator, and it is nice even if it is placed as an interior. The hawk’s sharp eyes are impressive, and it seems that it will protect the house.
Everything is handmade, so even if they are painted in the same color, they will have different shapes and different facial expressions. Some have multiple colors and some have less color.
Recently, there are places where you can experience painting with a hawk poppo, so it’s fun to paint with your favorite color. In addition to owls and hawks, there are also unique items such as Daikokuten, individual birds, chickens, rabbits and dogs.
I was looking into the hawk poppo and was impressed when I arrived at Uesugi Takayama.
There seems to be a hawk poppo painting experience.
How about going to cool Yamagata this summer and visiting the hawk poppo?
See you soon