Thursday, June 14, 2012

Japanese Wagasa Umbrella

(posted; Japanese culture page)
Now here in Japan, almost all the rice paddies are full of water and the rainy, dreary days started, but necessary season...  Having inspired by my Japanese friend's Japanese blog's topic, I'd like to introduce "wagasa, 和傘"; Japanese old style umbrella.  Here is the link of The history of the Japanese Wagasa Umbrellas (if you scroll down this page, you can see how they are made) and The History of Umbrellas

*Pictures of beautiful fashionable wagasa 


                Wagasa is even used at the wedding ceremony like this 
                        when bride and groom enter the hall.

*Some part of the quate from the history pages above
I found these histories very interesting, which I'd never learn if I hadn't started blogging.  The first umbrellas (derived from the Latin word Umbra, which means shade) were for protection from the sun and were possibly inspired from the canopy of a tree from China in 11th century B.C.   The original wagasa (8th century~) looked more like a straw hat and cape, and were worn less for rain protection than as a way to protect members of the imperial family and aristocrats from sunlight and evil spirits. 
By the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868) umbrella production had developed into a series of craft processes, and production rapidly rose as umbrellas became a popular possession of the common people. Until that time, the common people protected themselves from the rain with straw hats and capes. Well, I hope these Ukiyoe might help you have the image at that time. 

Western style umbrella was first intriduced to Japan in 1804 to Nagasaki from England and was a bit extravagant item.

I thank all of you to stop by and hope you will have a wonderful rest of the week.


  1. Dear Miyako,
    There's always something new to learn each time I visit your blog! These umbrellas are so beautiful - and interesting to get some history around them too. Hope you're having a good day. Big hugs, Eva

  2. How very fascinating and educational to learn about the Umbrella. They are so lovely. Much prettier then our plain ones here in the U.S.
    My grandmother used to call her umbrella a bumper shoot. I don't know why but it always made me laugh and her head scarf she called a Bubuska!
    I love your post today.
    Love and hugs dear friend,

  3. Very interesting post.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. How very interesting and the photos of the umbrellas are very attractive. Where I live it rains for most of the year but I rarely see an umbrella and I never see any as beautiful as the ones in these photos. One of the many wonderful things about your posts are the lovely photos. Thanks for sharing my sweet bs. Love you always.

  5. What beautiful photographs! Vintage umbrellas are one of my favorite items to collect.

  6. Hi Miyako, these are some of the prettiest umbrellas I have seen, so feminine, too. I like the swirl design. xo

  7. Hi Miyako san. They are very beautiful photos of wagasa and I enjoyed reading the history! I no longer see wagasa often but I love them. Very furyu and elegant.

  8. I have always loved these umbrellas, my dear friend, but I have never known much about them. To me, they are the epitome of loveliness and elegance.

    I always learn so very much from your wonderfully informative posts!

  9. Dearest Miyako,

    Here we always learn something. It puzzled me that those precious and dainty looking bamboo and paper umbrellas could be functional in rain... But they water-proofed them with linseed oil. Aha; learned something again.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Be happy for all the rains you get in your country, it means, just like in The Netherlands, that it is a very furtile country for growing lots of produce. Here it is impossible due to the heat and lack of rain, combined with poor soil quality and limited water-holding capacity of the soil.
    Love to you,


  10. how beautiful! how could you even use something so beautifully delicate? i'd be so afraid of it getting ruined.

    you always have something so interesting to say in your blog posts. i always learn something new.

    have a great weekend my friend!

  11. Mikayo,
    gosh how interesting, and those umbrellas are so beautiful. I had no idea they were used so long ago - and to keep away evil spirits :) Have a great weekend!

  12. Those wagasa umbrellas are just so pretty I love the look of them, and also loved learning something about the history of them thank you so much for sharing this with us.....

  13. What an interesting post and your pictures are lovely, especially the shot on the wet bridge, that is lovely.
    Always something new to learn on your blog :))

  14. Miyako san..
    i have always admired the beauty of these umbrellas!!!! you share the most beautiful things!!!

  15. Those are just too beautiful, Miyako and they go so well with kimono clad ladies...thank you for sharing!

  16. Oh I love umbrellas and these are gorgeous! I would but them all. ;-) Thank you for sharing my precious friend. Mina