Geta may be the most popular Japanese footwear known abroad. Zori may also be known when Japanese wear Kimono. But in the old days, Waraji was worn most commonly in daily life.
Waraji is made by rice straw. It was an important work for the farmer to make Waraji. People used to carry at least two or three Waraji when they traveled. Waraji looks like slippers. The differences is that Waraji has a rope to tighten one’s foot, and it allows people to walk long distances.
Waraji is only worn in a traditional event today. Mr. Ohishi is one of the successors of making Waraji in eastern Kochi. Every year in autumn, most of the village holds a harvest festival. And Waraji is still a necessary item for traditional parades.
Mr. Ohishi was born and raised in the village of Birafu, and took a farmers work after his parents. Young people cannot make Waraji anymore. So it is the work of the oldies to make Waraji for the harvest festival. It is also a rare occasion for the Japanese people to see how to make Waraji. So let us enjoy together, or have some trial with Mr. Ohishi.