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Travelers’ Treasures / Kohouki (Broom)

A broom with a curled tip is a rare sight. Did someone forget to cut the ends to the same length? No. This curl is what the Nambu broom is all about. Takakura Kogei begins with keeping the soil of its summer cypress field, which provides the raw material, in good condition. In the spring once the snow has melted, they plow the land well, add compost, plant seeds one by one, and step on them to cover them with soil. After the plants are cultivated without chemical fertilizer and herbicides, they are cut, rinsed in hot water, and dried in the sun. Despite all the time and effort spent, only the ones chosen by the maker’s hands and eyes become brooms. All broom weaving is also done by hand, bristle by bristle.

Brooms created in this fashion can be used not only on flooring and tatami (straw mats), but also to remove human and pet hair stuck in rugs and even cigarette ashes. Such is the sweeping power of the curly end. If kept in good condition, these brooms can last several dozen years.

Price: ¥21,600

Manufacturer: Takakura Kougei in Kunohe, Iwate Prefecture (http://nanbuhouki.jp)

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Photos and information except for prices from The Wonder 500 (https://thewonder500.com/)

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d

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