藁で作られた馬

A folk handicraft from Jindaiji Temple, famous from a morning TV drama

Jindaiji Temple is located amidst a nostalgic Showa landscape of rolling rice fields. Akakoma, horse figures made of braided straw, originated here as a souvenir for the temple’s pilgrims, produced by farmers for supplemental income

First, the straw is threshed and stretched, then it is sorted in a painstaking process. The next day, the component parts are assembled without no adhesive whatsoever. “With fewer and fewer makers, this craft began to die out for a while, but my mother learned it from the last surviving maker and revived it,” says shop clerk Tomoko Ōsaki.

赤駒を作っている様子。
Carrying on the old teaching to let nothing go to waste. Photo courtesy of Chōfu Keizai Newspaper

Akakoma appeared on The Wife of GeGeGe, a morning TV drama from NHK. They are protective charms, given to a family member or special person as a prayer that they make it through the day safely.

“Each one has a unique face. If one of them captures your fancy, I hope you’ll bring it home,” says Ōmae. Today, these folk handicrafts are only available at Ameya.

深大寺まいりの看板の前に立つ女性。
“Some customers have kept their akakoma for 30 years or more,” says shop clerk Ōmae.
「あめや」外観
Ameya first started as an open-air cotton candy stand. It is currently located next to Jindaiji Temple’s gates.

Akakoma Straw Horses

Ameya(あめや)

Price
(Medium)¥1500(tax incl.)
(Large)¥2500(tax incl.)
Details
Materials: Straw size (height × width): approx. 15 × 16 cm (medium), approx. 26 × 20 cm (large)

※Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice.