Sapporo Lilac Festival in May: Introduction to Japanese Arts & Crafts - Chigiri-e (Tearing of Paper to Make a Picture), Origami, Wheat Snowflake, Manga Drawing

May 22, 2013 (Wednesday) Afternoon

While it's summertime there in Manila in May, it's springtime and super cold here still in Hokkaido. It's the time for cherry blossoms, lilacs, lavenders, tulip and many more to bloom week after week. This week they are holding the annual Sapporo Lilac Matsuri (Festival) at Odori Park. The flowers are a bit late so we only saw a few but we immersed ourselves for one whole afternoon in the making of different Japanese arts and crafts for the event. We met some wonderful Japanese volunteers who introduced us to Chigiri-e (the art of tearing Japanese paper to make a picture), the art of making Japanese ornaments (in this case, a snowflake) from wheat, origami and getting ourselves drawn by "manga" artists. Time really did fly so fast during this wonderful day.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

We took Exit 8 from the Odori Subway Station so that we can pass by the Odori Park Tourist Information Center in Odori W3.

sapporo-odori-park-tourist-information-center.jpg

While we don't speak the same language, we were able to get a map, a few English brochures and ask their help for a group shot! Haha.

we-will-take-your-picture.jpg

The volunteer was super nice and took us to a nice picture spot.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-tourist-volunteer.jpg

I would recommend that you say hi to them when you're here hehe.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-volunteer.jpg

The Odori Park is really well-maintained and starting to be filled with color this time of year. The other end of the long stretch is the Sapporo TV Tower. We went to the other unexplored direction.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

The annual Sapporo Lilac Festival is being held this year at the 5th, 6th or 7th section (W5- W7) of Odori Park.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

Just walk straight and you'll get here very fast. You'll be able to see cabin-like structures.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

We got our pictures drawn for 100 yen! Mine turned out really funny. I guess I was expecting to look like Sailormoon hahahaha. 

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-manga-drawing.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-manga-drawing.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-manga-drawing.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-manga-drawing.jpg

melody-co.jpg

Anyway, we scouted the place and came across a booth by the Sapporo Police. They were promoting safety so they gave out some reflectors for the bikes and you can add stickers and designs. We made one for my sis' newly issued bike tee-hee. What's really cool is the bicycle simulator! Where else can you find that?! Hahaha. There's also a tea instructor available in one of the booths.


sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

bicycle-simulator.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-tea.jpg

As for the crafts, I wasn't into origami at that moment so I just watched a little and took a picture of the guide haha. The activity was free and they were making ice cream, watermelon and a jumping frog.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-origami.jpgorigami-watermelon-ice-cream.jpg

origami-ice-cream.jpg

It was raining in Sapporo so the best recourse is to try making more stuff! Haha. People come to Hokkaido for snow and this would make a great souvenir.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

These are made from wheat, I think haha. We only needed four small sticks, eight long sticks and a string.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

We followed the directions (put 1~4, 2~5 and so on).

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

Of course, they gave us this circular thinga-majig as a guide to secure everything in place =D

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

To tie the string, we flipped the thing around.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

It might fall apart if you remove one of the parts.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

There's a special method to tie the string too. One loop around, another loop in between then repeat to the next.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg

Can't believe you can make this with wheat stalks.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

The young man on the left was our sensei for the day. He was doing this ever since he was a child.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-snowflake-from-wheat.jpg 

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-making-crafts-from-wheat.jpg 

What really caught my attention was this. I thought I had the time to learn how to paint the Japanese way and they would surely just teach me the simple ones haha. I went in, looked closer and was still convinced that these were very great paintings. Who would have thought that these were NOT what they seemed to be?!

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

Also inside the cabin was a Japanese lady who wanted to give this a try (thank goodness she can speak English)! haha. I was very, very surprised when she told me that the "painting" was in fact made from paper. My curiosity peaked and I definitely wanted to know about it more. This is Morita-san! Hehe. Dearest Morita-san, thank you so much for speaking to me the whole time, telling me stories and translating for me. This trip wouldn't have been complete and super memorable without you. I hope to see you soon in Tokyo and Sapporo =)

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

She even showed me her newly bought indoor lilacs! There are big purple and white lilac trees at Odori Park.

indoor-lilac.jpg

indoor-lilac.jpg

We both picked a Chigiri-e sample to replicate and talked a bit while we're doing our own little projects haha. She told me that this was called Chigiri-e - literally translates to the tearing of a special Japanese paper to make a picture

chigiri-e-tearing-paper-to-make-a-picture-chigiri-e-tools.jpg

First, I traced the special Japanese paper with white pencil then used a very sharp cutter.

chigiri-e-nadeshiko.jpg

Next, I pinched and pinched the edges to give the petals a smoother look. These are not my hands, another very nice lady/expert did the demo first =)

chigiri-e-tearing-paper-to-make-a-picture.jpg

With special tweezers and glue, I put the petals in position.

chigiri-e-tearing-paper-to-make-a-picture.jpg

The brushing that came next made a lot of difference to the petals. It was one of my favorite parts!

 tearing-paper-to-make-a-picture.jpg

While I was doing that, the stems were shaped and cut one by one.

chigiri-e-orange-nadeshiko.jpg

I was really into it and actually thought that Chigiri-e was very therapeutic. I could take this on as a hobby.. Morita-san said that I chose an interesting flower called Nadeshiko. She said that this was the same name of the Japan Women's National Football Team. Team Nadeshiko Japan is the number one team in the world FIFA World Cup 2011 Champions. ;)

chigiri-e.jpg

Depending on how thick you make the tissue-like paper, I/we were able to control the shades of green that formed the leaves of this flower.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-chigiri-e.jpg

Morita-san did the Lily of the Valley. She said that this was the most Hokkaido-like among all the samples that we could make there. 

chigiri-e-tearing-paper-to-make-a-picture-leaves.jpg

And, it sure was lovely.. Simple and elegant..

lily-of-the-valley.jpg

She used it as a postcard to send to her mother. Super lovely thought =) I was thinking about the Manila Post Office (worst case, my artwork would be lost forever or I will be billed for it) and figured that I would probably arrive earlier and it would be faster if I hand it personally haha. 

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park.jpg

This is Ae Yoshizawa - san (picture below, I'm sorry I'm not sure where to put the "san"). She's a Chigiri-e teacher and the two works of art below are hers, along with the ones displayed at the back. I was so mesmerized by her work, especially the framed one with the girl (picture above). All her works looked like paintings and I actually can't help but stare at them while I was making my sample piece. I never imagined that she would selflessly give me the opportunity to take some of them home. I was so happy and teary-eyed at her generosity. The purple one is entitled "Dream". I put it next to my world map beside my bed now and I get to see it every day as a reminder of all things that are important to me.

sapporo-lilac-festival-odori-park-chigiri-e-ae-yoshizawa.jpg

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)