“Forgetting Your Lunch Box Is Inconvenient;
Forgetting Your Umbrella Is Disastrous!”
It rains a lot in Kanazawa, and that’s why Kanazawa Wagasa is tougher than Kyo Wagasa (made in Kyoto) or Edo’s (made in Tokyo)! Our umbrella has thick ribs, stretchers and paper, allowing it to be strong enough to bear the weight of snow or heavy rain. Meanwhile, it can also be admired for its beautiful designs, containing traditional patterns or vivid threads. It’s all handmade by artisans, and they’re made of natural materials, like moso bamboo, mulberry Japanese paper, and tapioca glue. Once you see how it looks, I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it! However, I wouldn’t use such a fabulous umbrella for everyday use, if I happen get one someday. It will be treasured in my room, and will entertain me whenever I see it. Only one artisan in Kanazawa, who has no successor, is now diligently crafting the paper umbrellas at his shop near the Sai-Gawa river.
The great master is a man of purity!
Kanazawa Wagasa Master
Hiroshi Matsuda - the sole heir for the Kanazawa Wagasa is positive and has never sunk in sorrow about it, he just works cheerfully. He truly loves his job and really enjoys making the umbrellas. He was born in Kanazawa in 1924 and started to follow his father as his boss when he was 12. His father was also a great Wagasa master. I’m impressed that not only the skills, but also the ability to make the designs, can be taught from just one person! Everybody has different tastes, right? But, I’m sure you’ll find your favorite style there! “I’ve been invited to New York.”, Matsuda says.
“They asked me to show them how to make it in the US.” He talks like a little boy with bright eyes, and is never arrogant. Such a great master can have an aura of grandeur, which can make them feel untouchable. I think he just loves his job, never working for praise. He’s a man of purity! I hope he happily keeps crafting and amazing us with his beautiful umbrellas.
Published: February 8, 2011
Kanazawa City >> Musashi Area
Japanese-style room & exclusive cuisine
Asadaya Ryokan [浅田屋]
Asadaya is more than 140 years old and the most famous ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn in Kanazawa. It has only 5 elaborate rooms for guests in order to provide perfect services in accordance with the "sukiya" style of simplicity.
23, Jikken-machi, Kanazawa
Tel 076-231-2228 / Fax 076-231-2229 /
E-mail / http://www.asadaya.co.jp/ryokan/
Rates: 49,000 yen~ (With two meals. Tax not included) / Check in: 14:00; Check out: 11:00 / Credit cards:Most accepted / Languages: English spoken / LAN: Free WiFi