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A Tsutsu Forest

Written on July 24, 2009

Today I am showing a “forest” of tsutsus.  A tsutsu is paper cone whose brown color is the result of the paper being saturated with kaki shibu, or the tannin of green persimmons.  A tsutsu is the drawing tool used in the free hand paste resist dyeing techinque called tsutsugaki: the cone is filled with rice paste which is applied directly to cloth; the tsutsu is used much in the same way as you would use a pastry bag in cooking or baking.

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You may notice the decorative ball in the center of the photo: this is a temari, an elaborately wound ball of leftover threads that was originally conceived as a child’s toy.  This is an old one–probably about 75 years old, or more, and it’s one of the nicest I’ve seen.  I’ve written about temari before on this blog, and you can see those entries here. In this same archived blog, I talk a bit about the two curious figures that also inhabit the “forest,” that of Daruma, the “father”of Zen Buddhism in Japan and, a widely-loved figure in popular culture.

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If these tsutsus interest you, I will be offering them on my website in the future, or write me at [email protected] for more information.

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