Handcrafting Traditional “Kiriko” Art

“Pass on a treasure of memories for the people one thousand years later.”

“Pass on a treasure of memories for the people one thousand years later.”

“Kiriko” are pieces of paper in the shape of good luck charms that adorn Shinto altars in households in Minamisanriku. They are gorgeous and beautiful. In the shrine office which barely survived the tsunami, Sukeyoshi Kudo, the chief priest of the Kaminoyama Hachimangu Shrine in the Shizugawa district and his son Shoetsu, began to create “Kiriko” again.

His daughter Mayumi made “Gogyoka” (five-line-poem) poems and picture-card shows about her experience with the tsunami when she was at the evacuation center.

In the hearts of people who are sad that they have lost everything, a treasure called “MEMORIES” is still alive. “The way to save posterity 1,000 years into the future is to convey to future generations the memories in our hearts and our experience with the massive tsunami,” Mayumi says. “Right now we need to be long-sighted. Although what we can do is limited, I wish to live with the memories of all those who died and loved this town. We have not lost everything. Wealth is something that accumulates within our hearts, and this ‘spiritual affluence’ is what supports us.”

Mayumi Kudo

"Negi", Kaminoyama Hachimangu Shrine

Period: All year (weekdays only)

Hours: Around 2 hours (10:00〜 or 13:00〜)

Participants: 5-20 people

Charge: 1,500 JPY per person

Other: –

Address: Kaminoyama Hachimangu Shrine, Kaminoyama 26 Shizugawa, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0700