“Kazaguruma”You can feel Japan with just a piece of paper!2013.07.10

Kazaguruma is one of the traditional,popular and inexpensive Japanese toy. It is also a very well-acquainted toy in western country. What is Kazaguruma? Today, we introduce you about this toy!

KazagurumaPhoto by ototadana

1. What is Kazaguruma?

Kazaguruma is an another name of windmill. It is a toy that play with whirling in the breeze.
There are various theories about the origin of windmill. According to a literature written in Edo era(17th century), it is said that the origin of windmill is Gion in Kyoto(a city of geisha) in Heian era(8th-12th century). There is another theory that states that windmill is an original toy of China, and is introduced into Japan in Heian era.
In either case, windmill is a popular toy in Japan from 8th century to the present.

2. How to make Kazaguruma?

To make Kazaguruma is very easy.
First, you should prepare a piece of paper. If you can prepare Chiyogami, Japanese paper with coloured figures, you can make more beautiful Kazaguruma. Secondly, you should cut it. Make a cut from the 4 corners. (don’t separate it). Then, gather 4 corners to the centre, and fasten it to a stick. It is done.
Kazaguruma is very simple toy, that’s why it is beloved for such a long period.

KazagurumaPhoto by d’n’c

3. How Japanese people are fond of Kazaguruma?

Kazaguruma is very well-known toy in Japan.
As we introduced above, it was already popular in Japan at 8th century as a children’s toy. Kazaguruma is also popular as the souvenir of visiting temples and shrines in Edo era. Even today, there are some temples and shrines sell Kazaguruma as the souvenir.
Kazaguruma is also a seasonal word in haiku (traditional Japanese poemof 17 syllables). Kazaguruma as a seasonal word symbolizes spring, because it was on sale in spring one time.

Kazaguruma is not an exclusive Japanese toy, however, it is very popular in Japan for long time.
When you want to feel Japan, please make Kazaguruma!

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