Wagasa

Japanese umbrella

The term wagasa (和傘) refers to umbrellas made in accordance with traditions on design, materials, or both.

Traditionally, Japanese umbrellas are made using bamboo sticks and Japanese paper. More modern materials and techniques are now used to manufacture products with an even longer life span.

Wagasa is not seen as frequently as in the past, substituted by the cheaper Western-style plastic umbrella for daily use. Nonetheless, it still is considered the proper accessory when wearing traditional clothes such as a kimono.

Overview

Origin

Authenticity

Did you know?

Companies that are at the same time traditional and modern, such as Ebisu beer, often use wagasa to advertise their products along with other similarly ambivalent daily goods (often fans and tissues.) Also, as paper allows infinite possibilities as to its decorations, many custom-made umbrellas feature anime characters and other popular themes such as One Piece and Hello Kitty. These are not likely to be sported on formal occasions, but they may be a fun way to enjoy an authentic piece of Japanese tradition.