Slippers Made from Corn Husks
In Aomori’s local dialect, “Kimigara” means corn husk. Using corn husks, the wives of farmers started braiding slippers shortly after World War 2 in the latter half of the 1940s. The slippers are light and feel like wearing air, while staying cool in summer and offering an intimate warmth in winter. These features are supported by the quality of the raw materials.
Corn as Horse Feed
Aomori’s Towada region is a prominent horse breeding area. Dent corn, used for the horses’ fodder, was widely cultivated. The large amount of corn husks left over were considered to be wasteful, leading to the creation of the corn husk slippers.
Slippers Made from November to March
The harvesting period for dent corn is late October. The husks are peeled and the corn is allowed to dry for 2 weeks, then sorted. The slippers are made from mid-November, when the preparation of the materials start, to March.
The slippers are braided entirely by hand, so it takes a day to create a single slipper.
A Shame to Waste Corn Husks
The dismay over the large amounts of corn husks going to waste led to the creation of these cute practical use items.