010-IMG_6104.jpg
During July-Aug. 2007, I helped to make the Yokaichi giant kite at the annex of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Museum.where the giant kite is made. Every three years, the giant kite, flown every May in Higashi-Omi, is replaced by a new kite bearing a new design.The new kite was made during July-Aug. 2007, taking about 30 days. The kite is made by volunteers from the public under the instruction of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Preservation Society. For the first time, I helped make this giant kite which was first flown successsfully on May 25, 2008 at the annual kite festival.
011-IMG_6029.jpg
Entrance to the annex and a sign indicating the day's event or work. Today, July 7, 2007, was the Noritsuke Pasting Ceremony. 八日市大凧まつり のりつけ式
012-IMG_0970.jpg
July 7, 2007: The making of the giant kite started with Noritsuke Pasting Ceremony where the new design was announced and dignitaries pasted together the first pieces of the kite paper.
013-IMG_6036.jpg
Before announcing the final kite design, they announced the three best (but not winning) design entries. The public was invited to submit kite designs based on the theme of "Life" or inochi.
014-IMG_6042.jpg
Twenty-six design entries were submitted this year. There was no top winner, so the final design was based on the three best designs. This design features the kanji "Yorokobu" or joyfulness. 今回のテーマは「いのち」
015-IMG_6045.jpg
They introduced the three best designs. 最優秀作品はなく、3点の優秀賞作品を参考に保存会が決めた。
016-IMG_0994.jpg
The new kite design was then announced. Called Han-jimon (判じもん), the design expresses a certain theme using word play with a pair of animals and one or two kanji characters. 八日市大凧は3年に一度図柄を変える。
017-IMG_0989.jpg
The top kanji is "yorokobu" (joyfulness) which can also be read as "ki." The pair of hawks 鷹 can be read as "yo." And the bottom kanji is "sei" (living). It's "Kyosei."
018-IMG_6061.jpg
Higashi-Omi mayor Nakamura Koichi explains the design. "Kyosei" 共生 means to co-exist (i.e. man and nature) or to live together harmoniously. 中村功一市長
019-IMG_6066.jpg
The mayor and one of the kite design artists wear a sash and pose for a picture before proceeding with the Noritsuke Ceremony.
020-IMG_6070.jpg
They used a wide brush to apply paste to the edges of a piece of kite paper.
021-IMG_6072.jpg
They joined two sheets of kite paper together. This marked the first step in making the kite. The finished kite paper will consist of a few hundred washi paper sheets pasted together.
022-IMG_1003.jpg
More dignitaries paste the sheets of kite paper together.
023-IMG_6083.jpg
The pasted pieces are laid to dry.
024-IMG_6087.jpg
We were then invited to sign our names on the kite paper.
025-IMG_6086.jpg
The kite design announcement and pasting ceremony lasted an hour, after which a group photo was taken.
030-IMG_6105.jpg
July 8, 2007: On the day after the pasting ceremony, the Kamitsugi or paper joining was next. 紙継ぎ
031-IMG_6120.jpg
Starting at 9:30 am, members of the giant kite preservation society began pasting and joining about 400 sheets of washi paper to make the giant kite paper.
032-IMG_6109.jpg
The top two rows of washi sheets already pasted together.
033-IMG_6122.jpg
The size of the room almost exactly matches the size of the giant kite which is 12 meters by 13 meters or 100 tatami mats.
034-IMG_6123.jpg
The paper is Mino Washi, from Gifu Prefecture. It is white, and surprisingly thin. I thought it would be thicker. Six or so sheets are stacked while slightly spread apart.
035-IMG_6113.jpg
The stacked paper is put on a table where water-based paste is applied to one horizontal and one vertical paper edge.
036-IMG_6127.jpg
Each person holds one edge-pasted sheet and line up to align and join the sheet. Each sheet measures about 90 cm by 60 cm. There are also half-size sheets.
037-IMG_6129.jpg
Anybody can help do this. The public is invited to sign their names on a sheet and paste it to the big kite paper.
038-IMG_6119.jpg
The sheets are joined in the same pattern as a brick wall. Every other row of sheets has a half sheet along the edge. Notice the autographs of people on the paper.
039-IMG_6133.jpg
So the giant kite is actually made of many smaller sheets of paper joined together. Notice my "philbert" autograph on the bottom.
040-IMG_1007.jpg
People sign their names on a washi sheet.
041-IMG_1009.jpg
There are also smaller sheets of paper where you can write a wish and sign your name. Paste will be applied to these sheets which will be used to fasten the bamboo frame to the giant paper.
042-IMG_6142.jpg
The work proceeds.
043-IMG_1016.jpg
The last sheet is pasted and joined. The job was finished in 3 hours.
044-IMG_6149.jpg
The giant kite paper is finished, taking up the floor space of the entire room.
045-IMG_1018.jpg
After every kite-making session, they take a picture of all the volunteer participants. It was very interesting. Anybody can participate on any day. Call the kite museum for schedule details: 0748-23-0081.
046-IMG_6227.jpg
July 16, 2007: Initial sketching and vermilion painting. A sketch of the design was made with a charcoal pencil. 下絵・墨
047-IMG_6239.jpg
The giant kite's main and largest kanji character "sei" is painted in vermilion.
048-IMG_6247.jpg
A plastic bucket (the same kind used when you take a bath) with paint and a brush is used.
049-IMG_6252.jpg
050-IMG_6231.jpg
051-IMG_6234.jpg
The red and ornage colors are painted first on the kite, while the black and gray colors are painted later.
052-IMG_6235.jpg
053-IMG_6237.jpg
Spots of white are made on purpose to give a brush stroke effect.
054-IMG_6268.jpg
The "yorokobu" or "ki" kanji is also painted on the same day.
055-IMG_6242.jpg
The design sketch is being completed.
056-IMG_6244.jpg
Plastic pails and brushes
057-IMG_6246.jpg
Vermilion paint
058-IMG_6238.jpg
The sketch of the hawk is completed.
059-IMG_6256.jpg
Hawk eye
060-IMG_6248.jpg
Wing corner
061-IMG_6264.jpg
Local cable TV station also came to cover the kite-making progress.
062-IMG_6266.jpg
A brush stroke effect
063-IMG_6275.jpg
064-IMG_6277.jpg
065-IMG_6282.jpg
"Yorokobu" or "ki"
066-IMG_6272.jpg
067-IMG_6271.jpg
068-IMG_6289.jpg
Vermilion painting of "sei" is complete.
069-IMG_6278.jpg
Group photo of those who worked on the kite this time. This session was 9:30 am to noon.
070-IMG_6981.jpg
July 31, 2007: Bamboo frame work and picture-edge frame work. 骨組(絵骨)Hone-gumi (Ebone)
071-IMG_6983.jpg
A diagonal grid of thin, rod-like bamboo criss-crossed the entire kite. They are now using string to tie the bamboo intersections.
072-IMG_7004.jpg
Tied bamboo intersections. The rod-like bamboo are supported by larger pieces of bamboo.
073-IMG_7011.jpg
Kite edges are lined with a thicker bamboo to which the rod-like bamboo are tied.
074-IMG_6993.jpg
This intricate bamboo frame supports the kite paper so it does not flap around like normal paper.
075-IMG_7018.jpg
The bamboo frame work is done after the kite design is painted.
076-IMG_6989.jpg
077-IMG_6995.jpg
Bamboo rods and sticks.
078-IMG_7005.jpg
Hawk eye painted.
079-IMG_7009.jpg
Wing
080-IMG_7010.jpg
081-IMG_6997.jpg
082-IMG_7015.jpg
Besides the diagonal grid of bamboo rods, a bamboo rod is also fastened along the edges of the design where the paper will be cut out (or carved out). These bamboo rods keep the edges of the cut-out paper taut. Otherwise it would flap around in the wind.
083-IMG_7013.jpg
Still more tying to do.
084-IMG_7025.jpg
Tying the bamboo frame is considered to be one of the more tedious tasks, so we were rewarded with a pair of gloves with the kite design. These gloves will also give us higher priority to pull the kite during the kite festival.
085-IMG_7023.jpg
Group photo. Quite a few people worked during this 3-hour afternoon session.
086-IMG_7188.jpg
Aug. 5, 2007: Paper cutting 切り抜き Kiri-nuki. First they reversed the kite paper so the bottom side was up. Then they re-installed the bamboo grid as shown here.
087-IMG_7190.jpg
The bamboo grid is carefully aligned with the kite design.
088-IMG_7200.jpg
The bamboo grid was temporarily fixed with weights and some tape.
089-IMG_7192.jpg
Intricate bamboo grid/frame fitting all shapes along the edges.
090-IMG_7207.jpg
091-IMG_7211.jpg
Wing portion before paper cutting.
092-IMG_7229.jpg
Wing portion after paper cutting.
093-IMG_7215.jpg
How they do it: First they cut along the outline of the picture leaving ample space. Then they cut it perpendicular to the edge to make paper flaps.
094-IMG_7218.jpg
The paper flaps are applied with paste and then folded over the bamboo rod.
095-IMG_7231.jpg
See the paper flaps pasted over the edge.
096-IMG_7241.jpg
097-IMG_7233.jpg
Almost finished. This paper cutting step took 3 days to complete.
100-20080525_4478.jpg
On May 25, 2008 at the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival, the new giant kite was flown for the first time. The wind conditions was good.
101-20080525_4483.jpg
The kite flew quite high for about 3 min. 35 sec. Also see my YouTube video here.
102-20080525_4498.jpg
It had rained the night before and in the morning. The ground would've been muddy, but they spread a layer of rocks to make the ground dry. It must have been hard to pull the kite and run on these rocks.
103-20080525_4501.jpg
After the flight, we could see the kite up close. A sacred sakaki tree branch adorned the back of the kite. Also many paper stickers with people's wishes were pasted on the back.
88 files on 1 page(s)