Marugame City – Japan

Spinning History, Marugame Uchiwa New Meister 31

Marugame Uchiwa, a traditional craft that has been handed down for 400 years in the castle town of Marugame Castle, is facing a critical situation: the industry is shrinking amid a shortage of successors, with no way to pass on the traditional techniques. The main solution, initiated by the government, is the establishment of a successor training course and the introduction of the Marugame Uchiwa New Meister System. The successor training course is designed to pass on the techniques of Marugame Uchiwa production, and those who have contributed to the industry for more than three years after graduating from the course will be judged and awarded the title of Marugame Uchiwa New Meister. As a result, 31 Marugame Uchiwa New Meisters were born, who are passionate about passing on the art of Marugame Uchiwa. With support from the government and other organizations, they are not only preserving the tradition of Marugame Uchiwa, but are also taking on the challenge of developing more innovative and sustainable Marugame Uchiwa. Their efforts to promote Marugame Uchiwa through demonstrations for tourists, hands-on Uchiwa making, and sales outside the city have succeeded in attracting potential successors from outside the city and prefecture, and have even led to the creation of new immigrants to the area.

Keywords: community engagement, training, traditional crafts , education

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