Wagasa - Japanese Parasol

detailed view of the structure of a wasaga - japanese paper parasol

This Japanese parasol was given to me when I was a very little girl. When I was born, we lived in Japan on a military base, which is amazing! My dad was a photographer in the US Air Force (guess I got the shutterbug gene from him!). Unfortunately I was far to young when we moved back home to be able to remember anything at all from Japan, but my mom saved some souvenirs and gifts to give to me when I was old enough to appreciate it. I still treasure all of these beautiful things from the place where I came into existence.

This kind of parasol is known as a "wasaga", it's is a traditional umbrella made of oil paper and bamboo. It's held together with thread, and the other side of it is painted with flowers and birds. It's fascinating how all these little parts fit together so perfectly. I believe it may have actually been water repellent at one point, but it's far to special to me to risk testing that out ;-). It's very delicate, but it's held up remarkably well over the past 35-ish years.