Fukushima town skitters out local craft for Year of Rat

FUKUSHIMA (The Japan News/ANN) - A worker puts the finishing touches on a rat figure in a craft workshop in Nishi-Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture, ahead of the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac in 2020.

A worker puts the finishing touches on a rat figure in a craft workshop in Nishi-Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture, ahead of the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac in 2020. Nozawa Mingei, a local crafts association in the town of Nishi-Aizu, has been hard at work preparing the papier mache figures, using the traditional “hariko” molding technique passed down through the centuries. The 34 artisans who hand-paint and construct the figures, turn out about 800 per day. By the end of the year, about 50,000 will be produced.

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