The folk craft “Sedge Work” is being made in the Hiramaru district of Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture. “The Sedge Work Museum, Tsunagu,” has been newly opened in Kamazuka, Itakura-Ward, Joetsu City. It is a facility where you can learn about the history of sedge work, and how to make it.
Sedge work is a traditional craft made in the Hiramaru district of Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture. It is a mountain village in the snowy country. Sedge work has been made since 1958 as a winter income source for farmers. At its peak, there were 200 craftspeople, but due to depopulation and aging, the number is decreasing. The NPO Hiramaru Sedge Work Preservation Society was established in 2015 to continue the tradition and skills.
The “Sedge Work Museum Tsunagu” was newly established by the Hiramaru Sedge Work Preservation Society as a second base, in an attempt to increase the number of sedge work practitioners. The building is a renovated, 90-year-old house built in the early Showa era in Kamazuka, Itakuraku-Ward.
In the 18 tatami-mat-sized room with a hearth, there is a craft work demonstration corner for sedge work. You can see how to make this year’s zodiac “Ox” up close, and also you can watch a DVD that explains the culture and history of sedge work.
In addition, the exhibition room, which has been renovated to include a wooden floor, has the original horse designs on display, and the twelve zodiac signs that are made for each year.
You can see how sedge work has changed over time: the method of making is the same, but the designs are different.
You can also observe the types of sedges used as the material, the processing methods such as drying, and each specific part of the assembly.
Misayo Shibano, the chairman of the NPO Hiramaru Sedge Work Preservation Society, said, “the exhibition of sedge work does not fit the atmosphere of modern houses. I found a Japanese-style old folk house with a hearth in Kamazuka, Itakuraku-Ward, so I decided to come to this area. It has opened as a place where we can offer information, and where people can feel free to come. Some people are worried about the mountain road to Hiramaru. However, it’s easy to come here, and we would like to connect with Hiramaru and other organizations from here. “
In the future, we plan to open a Japanese-style room on the 2nd floor, as a space where people can stay and experience the work. The Sedge Work Museum is still under renovation, so admission is free over this pre-opening period in May.
Sedge Work museum “Tsunagu”
Pre-opening: Until Monday, May 31st
Grand Opening: From Tuesday, June 1st
■ Address: 111 Kamazuka, Itakuraku-Ward, Joetsu-shi, Niigata
■ Closed: Thursday until May 31st, Wednesday and Thursday from June 1st
■ Admission fee: Free until May 31st, after that 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for junior high and high school students, free for elementary school students and younger
Opening hours: 9: 00-16: 00
Address: 111 Kamazuka, Itakura-Ward, Joetsu-shi, Niigata
Tel: TEL090-3548-7370 (Hiramaru Suge Craft preservation society, Shibano)