Culture & Art

Jun 1, 2017


They're umbrellas, but of paper. They seem to be the result of an advanced origami technique, but in fact it is a very different process, also coming from Japan.


Each wagasa is made from renewable materials, among which stand out bamboo, ego wood, rope, glue and washi, traditional Japanese paper. This paper is the great evidence in distinction to the western umbrellas. They are also differentiated by the hand-made production method – which can take several months – or by the number of ribs that support the cover; while the western umbrella is about eight ribs, this traditional Japanese umbrella can have between 30 and 40 ribs.

Disregard if you think wagasa is useless on rainy days, in addition to the paper itself, it is fortified and turn waterproofed with persimmon, linseed oil and wood oil.

Although it has become famous in Japanese culture, wagasa comes from China, arriving in Japan by the use in Buddhist ceremonies, a tradition dating back to the 6th century. At the time it was used only among privileged members of the society, it was believed to offer protection, beyond the sun and rain, but also of evil spirits.

There are several types of commonly call Japanese umbrellas: bangasa, prepared for the rain; janome, which is distinguished by the pattern from the snake eye; nodategasa, with larger dimensions, like a beach umbrella; and maigasa, suitable for Japanese dances, but not for the rain.

Despite the important role occupied in the culture of Japan, the production of the wagasa became smaller and smaller, as its place got taken by the western umbrella, more resistant and cheaper, therefore, more convenient.

In Kyoto, capital of Japan for many years, there are several places where you can get a wagasa, but only one establishment remains faithful to the kyo-wagasa, a unique model of this city. Hiyoshiya shop presents the iconic models of the original wagasa and, simultaneously, responds to the competition, combining the beauty of washi paper with the decoration offers many lamps that refer largely to the traditional umbrella.

The traditional wagasa have taken a prominent decorative role, which has led artists to dedicate themselves to the creation for ornamental purposes, that result on the elaboration of irreverent patterns in the cover of the umbrella or even supports that, once again, align the illumination to the umbrella and, through the color and texture of the paper, turn the light unique.

More Articles


  • 1

    Business & Industry

    Dec 18, 2018


    The ancient, the new and the future

    "Azerbaijan is a country that impresses in many ways and is relatively unknown in Western countries. Starting from the fact that – contrary to what many think – it is not close...

  • TransCanadaTrail002

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Mar 1, 2017


    Its construction began in 1992, the Trans Canada Trail has the purpose to unite the extremes of Canada since the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic, and it's about to be completed this Fall, precisely in the year of the celebration...

  • sonos-playbar11

    Home & Design

    Jun 1, 2017


    When we think that having a sound base in the living room could be an answer to all our wishes, we usually realise that can be a problem – most of today's TV's simply won't fit on top of them.

  • 025

    Food & Beverage

    May 1, 2017


    A sweet temptation that provokes sensations that even its greatest admirers can´t explain. It is a reason for tourist attraction in countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, France, among others. There are even those who become a Chocolate...

  • Viagem marco

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Mar 3, 2018


    Adventure tourism became extremely popular over the last decade but also lost part of its realism, after all with guided visits and closed gates resorts in luxury hotels there's not much left of the spirit of adventure that turned...

  • BauhausType

    Culture & Art

    Mar 1, 2017


    Born from the ashes of World War I, it is not yet possible to go around the importance that its 14 years of existence have brought to the world, under a radical concept for its time: re-imagine all materials in the world and reunite...

  • Serenata de Amor - Love Serenade

    Food & Beverage

    Sep 1, 2015

    Sweet Brazil

    Chocolates Garoto is one of the ten largest chocolate factory in the world and the largest in Latin-America. The company has a panoply of about 70 products, exported to over 60 countries. Their greatest success are the Caixa Amarela...

  • 1

    Culture & Art

    Aug 1, 2015

    Top education

    As Asian powers rise, the University of Tokyo is trying to strengthen its reputation as a globally relevant institute of higher learning. Internationalization is nothing new for the University of Tokyo (UTokyo), although it remains a...

  • Technology

    Apr 1, 2015

    True pioneers

    For years Pioneer has introduced innovative and high quality products into the market. A world-first in many ways, the japanese company has been through several changes over the years, but kept the original philosophy that gave birth...