Saturday, December 08, 2007


How To Make a Shimenawa

While looking for a place to buy a New Year's shimekazari (wreath), I came across this lovely short video on how to make a shimenawa, the rope which you see hanging over Shinto shrines and which is used to designate sacred spaces. I enjoyed the tremendous care used to construct it, and everyone's collective surprise at how it was done.

I'm assuming that the videographer is somewhere fairly traditional; these all look like the they were taken in an agricultural town, not unlike the one where my mother grew up. At 2:17-2:19 you see a shimenawa along an irrigation ditch--I'm guessing it's the northeast corner where in my mother's town some people still have permanent shrines to ward off the bad "drainage demon."

As for a Japanese New Year's wreath, the shimekazari, well, I suppose I could try making one out of pretzels . . .

Fortunately a good friend is sending me a new one to replace my trusty year-of-the-boar hanging.

This sounds delicious! I want to try it.
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