Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Plastic Shimenawa

48 Hours. 22 of 600

Shimenawa, the sacred ropes demarcating sacred space, are traditionally made of rice straw.

In recent times plastic has started to be used sometimes. It has the advantage that the shimenawa needs replacing less often.


But in the climate of japan, even plastic is susceptible to mold! A lot of the plastic shimenawa are simply made from standard polypropolene rope.


I've seen a few made from a different kind of plastic as well.


Some people think that it is wrong to use plastic for these sacred objects. Rice straw traditionally had many uses, and nowadays so does plastic, so It seems natural to incorporate it.



  1. beautiful! Wonderful colors, textures, and fascinating this beautiful capture and work that goes into them!

  2. I can see your point that plastic has a lot of applications, but you don't eat plastic! :)

    I mean, rice it's natural. It's like a greek temple with aluminium columns. Yeah, you can do it, but it's not so "merged with nature" like the original.

    However, like with all the things, I think there could be many different points of view.

    Surely it's easier for the people who have to replace the shimenawa... and cheaper.