Local lifestyle

New year with handmade Straw Festoon (Shimenawa) 手作りしめ縄でお正月

しめ縄は、神様を家に迎え入れ、たくさんの幸せを授けてもらうために飾るもの。
大抵は玄関に飾る。お正月は、心を込めた手作りのしめ縄でと思う人は、案外多い。
しめ縄作りの講習会が、青森市の荒川市民センターで開かれた。

Straw festoon (Shimenawa) is a decoration that welcomes God to the house and in order to receive happiness.
It is usually hung and displayed at the entrance of a house.
There is a considerably number of people who want to celebrate the new year with handmade straw festoon(Shimenawa)。
A tutorial session of how to make straw festoon was held at Arakawa town center in Aomori city.

講習会には、40代から70代の一般市民、20人ほどが集まった。
この日の講師は、つがる市から出張講習にやってきた「藁の会」の会員。
使われた藁は、青森県産ブランド米の「まっしぐら」の稲わら。
この稲わらは、「藁の会」の会員が、農家の田植えから収穫まで手伝い、手刈りで刈った稲わらを、まっすぐになるように、はさがけにして干して乾燥したものだという。

This tutorial session of join by 20 people age between 40 to 70 years old.
The instructor came from Tsugaru on-site training program and is also a member of the “Straw association”.
The straw used is actually a kind of rice straw of “Masshigura” a rice grain brand from Aomori prefecture.
Members of the “Straw association” are also involved in the straw making process. They help the rice farmer with planting to harvesting. In order to have the straw comes in straight, they are dried on a rack until dehydration.

まず、初めに「藁の会」の会員が作り方を披露した後、3人から4人が1グループとなって、一つのしめ縄づくりに挑戦した。藁を根元でしっかりと縛った後、三つに分け、霧吹きで藁を湿らせてから、三人で右にねじっていく。根元を持つ人は、反対の左にねじっていく。左右から力を加えることにより、硬く締まる。かなりな力がいるらしく、立ち上がり渾身の力でねじった人は、ついには、「暑い暑い!」と着ているものを脱いでいった。三つ編み状態になった藁は両端をしっかりと止め、輪っかにしていく。
First of all, the members of “Straw association” will demonstrate the way to make straw festoon, and then the others will from a group of 3-4 and challenge to make one straw festoon. After firmly tying the root of the straw, separate it into 3 and wet it with a water spray and then twist it to the right side with 3 people. The one who is holding the root of the straw will twist it to the left side. Tighten it by twisting it left and right. A lot of man power had been put into this tightening process to a point where people were mentioning hot all the time and took off their tops. The tightened straw is firmly clamped at both ends and looped.

はみ出た藁をハサミで整え、ふさになったなった藁の端は、片方を直線的に揃え、もう片方は、ランダムに切込みを入れていく。
Excess straws were trimmed off by using a scissors. The straw that is bushy at both ends, cut one of the ends straight align and the other cut randomly.

最後は、飾りつけ。思い思いに、飾り付けたしめ縄は、神様の通り道といわれる玄関に飾るという。
楽しい1年の締めくくりとなった。
Last it comes down to decoration. It is believed that the straw festoon should be displayed at the main entrance to lead a path for God.
Overall this year ended as enjoyable and fun year.

 

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