“Kimigara” slippers

By Aomori’s Traditional Handicrafts

By:Aomori Prefecture

“Kimigara” slippersAomori’s Traditional Handicrafts

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.

“Kimigara” slippersAomori’s Traditional Handicrafts

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.

“Kimigara” slippersAomori’s Traditional Handicrafts

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.

“Kimigara” slippersAomori’s Traditional Handicrafts

Completely Handmade

The slippers are braided entirely by hand, so it takes a day to create a single slipper.

“Kimigara” slippersAomori’s Traditional Handicrafts

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.

Credits: Story

Aomori Prefecture

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