Keeping the Traditional Japanese Art of Hand Painted Hamamatsu Kites Alive

Unwind, Pictures In The Sky” by KQED, is a fascinating interview with artist Goyo Kazuka, an expert in the traditional Japanese art of hand painted Hamamatsu kites. Kazuka, who was born in Hamamatsu, Japan, explains the history, structure and artistry of the kites. He also expresses his joy in keeping this tradition alive through festivals and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The gigantic square kite doesn’t look like it should be able to fly. Made with bamboo and rice paper imported from Japan, the Hamamatsu tako (kite) takes hours to construct — each joint tied together with twine, every surface carefully painted. …he works with the International Association of Tako Age to teach others the traditional methods, bringing Hamamatsu kites to the Berkeley Kite Festival and new generations of kite-lovers. …Kite-building is, by its very nature, an exercise in community building. As Kazuka says, “Making kites takes lots of time by hand, so you need lots of hands.”