A traditional Chilean horsehair loom will be exhibited in Hiroshima for a year


The Chilean Embassy in Japan and the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower come together in September to commemorate 125 years of diplomatic relations between Chile and Japan. For this momentous occasion, a special work of art will be unveiled in a ceremony on Wednesday, September 7.

At the ceremony scheduled for Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, which overlooks the World Heritage-listed Atomic Bomb Dome, the Chilean Ambassador will present a Rari horsehair loom crane made by artisans in the small Chilean town of Rari. Known as ‘Rari Crin Cranes for Peace’, this handmade artwork is based on horsehair, a 200-year-old weaving technique that blends dyed horsehair and ixtle (vegetable fiber) to create miniature figurines. Amazingly, the artists use only their hands and a needle to create these immaculately intricate designs.

The art form is alive and well, as it is practiced in the south-central region of Chile, including the small town of Rari in which this special work of art was created. ‘Rari Crin Cranes for Peace’ features 108 braided horsehair cranes suspended from a loom.

The main inspiration for the play is the famous story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who was affected by radiation from the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima in August 1945. Hoping for a cure, she decided to fold 1,000 paper cranes. Unfortunately, she died before she could complete the project. To this day, origami paper cranes continue to be a symbol of peace in Japan.

Photo: Embassy of Chile in Japan

The horsehair loom traveled from Rari to Hiroshima for this special event. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 7 on the 12th floor of Hiroshima Orizuru Tower. The event is open to the public. However, the craft will remain at the tower for a year, so if you pass through Hiroshima, be sure to stop by for a visit.

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