Fujimino City , Saitama
|Broom makers of Oi-machi|
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This film introduces the Oi hoki or broom which is produced by the broom makers of Issawa (former Oi-machi) in Oi area, Fujimino City.
The production of these Oi hoki boomed in this area from around the Bunka and Bunsei eras in the Edo period (early 19th Century) until the middle of the Showa period (around the 1950s). According to records, there were about 50 workshops in the industrys heyday at the beginning of the Showa period (late 1920s to 1930s). The background of the boom in the broom industry in the area was the fact that the broom making required special techniques and was suitable as the occupation for the second and third sons of farming families, as well as the fact that the area was suitable for the cultivation of hokigusa (Kochia scoparia), the material for the broom.
In this film, the whole broom-making process, from the cultivation and harvesting of the hokigusa to the process of making the brooms at the hands of the broom makers, is shown. The film introduces the highly advanced techniques of these craftsmen and the world and the high spirits of these men who compete with each other and form special relationships between fellow disciples.
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