Butterflies have been very popular since the Age of Samurai as a symbol of immortality, power, rebirth, and transformation.
Mr. Ryuzaemon Maeda, a former Samurai, lost his job in the early Meiji Period and created “Yagoto no Chōchō”: a folk toy made of bamboo and Japanese paper (washi) coloured red, yellow, orange, green, and purple. He started selling it along with soba manju in front of the gate of Koshoji Temple. In few times, “Yagoto no Chōchō” became a very popular souvenir of “Yagoto Amusement Park”.
Currently, Mr. Yasue Haruhiko, a former elementary school teacher, is working hard to preserve Yagoto butterflies and he is looking for someone to hand over this activity.
Moreover, he made 200 butterflies for our event “Japan Folk Festival 2022: A journey through the Edo Period in Nagoya”!
One month before the event, we went to “Yagoto no Chōchō” in order to help Mr. Yasue in creating the butterflies. Through this volunteer activity, we had a lot of fun and it was very interesting to hear more about “Yagoto no Chōchō”.
1) Make the bamboo strips into a shape like a pine needle and insert it into a metal foam that will be the body of the butterfly and bend it into a circle to make half of the butterfly wings.
2) Make the same process for the opposite part
3) Paste the Japanese paper
4) Cut the edge of the paper following the bent bamboo strips in order to create the wings
5) Color with paint
6) Complete it inserting the long bamboo strip as a handle