A Wagasa, Traditional Japanese umbrellas, made of bamboo and Washi ° Japanese paper°ň, is delicately collapsible inward with its elaborate open-close movement.
With its production beginning in the Kamakura era, it became popular among the public during the Edo Genroku era.
Please enjoy beauty and wonder of Wagasa as a Japanese Culture.
Column:Introduction to WAGASA
(Traditional Japanese umbrella)
1. How to carry Wagasa
You can hold and grasp the head of the body: Hold a string attached to the head for a Janome Gasa umbrella, or a leather string held at the head in case of Ban Gasa umbrella. Be aware that it easily opens if you hold the handle and put it upside down like a western style umbrella.
2. Durable years of use
Wagasa is made of bamboo and Washi. When closed, bamboo is strong and durable more than expected, due to being transformed into a form of its bamboo cylinder.
When opened, however, it is not strong enough due to thin bamboo-split ribs connected with the threads with Washi paper glued to the frames, which requires good care for a longer use. If kept in good shape, a 20 year old umbrella may be usable to your surprise.
But a rain umbrella is oil-applied for waterproofing, hardening agent used s for which affects unfavorably Washi quality regardless of its use or non-use, thus Washi will inevitably be deteriorated in quality. If crisply torn up , it is supposed to have ended its Washi life ,which suggests a time to be replaced for a new one.
For reference, non oil- applied parasols( one that provides shade) is more durable a few times than°°a rain one.
3 .How to take care of rain umbrellas
If remained newly-bought, with a fastening loop closed and stored while in no use, it will shorten its durability. Hang it in the well-ventilated place with the loop opened for loosening.
After used on a rainy day, it is recommendable that water dripping should be done to wipe away with a towel. Further, keep it half opened or fully opened to dry in the shade.
When thoroughly dried, close loose the loop a bit, and hang it in the good breeze.
To have a frame re-covered with Washi paper, firstly, make sure as a precondition that connecting threads remain not cut and sticks are not broken. Then, peel lacquer, Washi paper, and paste so that sticks can not be damaged. At long last, recovering Washi starts. The peeling job requires a lot of time consuming hard work. It is usually recommended that a new one should be bought due to high personnel costs required for repair, as a new one is less expensive.
In case that Washi is torn, repairing cost depends upon the torn space, place and state. Repairs come in a wide variety, ranging from a method of applying plaster to that of one-space covering. But it seems hardly possible to match kinds of Washi or color, etc. with one to be repaired. In most repair inquiries, the Washi have lost its life so we would recommend a new replacement. When the sticks are broken, it is hardly possible to have it repaired.
In case an umbrella opens but closes due to a stopper sunk in., which is caused by a wrong eye hole and repairable.
For examples, a handle comes off, or gets loose or broken. Wagasa is connected with the handle at Rokuro, or open-close device attached to the upper part of the shaft. A strong impulse may cause a stopper or a shaft to come off or get loose. It is possible to replace a bamboo shaft. Please call your umbrella shop for repair.