Wellington Sakai Association again had a stall at this years Wellington Japan Festival on 23 August 2014.
The WSA Committee bought some traditional "chusen" material from sister-city Sakai, and cut this into squares for use in a "furoshiki" experience on the WSA stall.
This experience featured on the Festival stamp rally where visitors had to complete a furoshiki wrapping to get a Sakai-themed stamp on their card to enter into a Festival competition which meant the stall was very popular! Visitors practiced simple furoshiki designs, and could take home the Sakai chusen fabric for a small donation that helped cover costs. The making of chusen fabric has long been a tradition in Sakai (find out more at http://www.sakai-ipc.jp/en/local_industry/bleaching.html) and in this way we are spreading a small piece of Sakai throughout Wellington!
Furoshiki (風呂敷) are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. Furoshiki began to be used in the mid-Nara Era, in traditional Japanese baths (Onsen). To prevent a mix up of the bathers' clothes, the removed clothing was tied up in furoshiki. Later the system of folding spread and was used by traders to protect their goods or gifts. It is not a reusable (and eco-friendly) way to wrap gifts as it can be reused by the receiver!
WSA also had kimono photo stands with holes for heads for visitors to put their face into and take a photo of themselves.
Thank you to all members from the WSA came and helped out on the stall during the day!