Mami Kiyoshi
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Ono Takashi in his workshop, the Ono-shō-tako-ya
(Edogawa-ku, Tokyo prefecture, 2018)

Ono Takashi is the current maker of the Ono-Shō-Tako-Ya workshop in Tokyo. He is the third generation working in this workshop that was created in the 1920s by his grandfather Ono Shōji. In the 1920s, Shōji left Fukushima Prefecture, where his family was involved in making katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna, fermented and smoked), and he moved to Tokyo. In addition to working in a sewing factory, he began making kites that he sold at a toy store and at the kite market held every February at Ōji Inari Shrine, in the north part of Tokyo.

Shōji brought his special knives to Tokyo to gut the fish. These knives, which are aligned in the foreground on the photograph, have a curved blade; it allowed him to engrave very quickly the woodblocks used to print in series the decor of his kites.

After Shōji, it was his son Takami, then his grandson Takashi who kept the workshop alive and continued to honor customer orders.

Because Takashi is a professional maker, he makes large quantities of kites. We see behind him boxes full of small kites. Cylinders are also a way of storing kites for delivery. This form makes it possible to count them quickly, as well as to transport them easily and safely.

For Takashi, making kites is a job, but he also likes to fly yakko kites on the banks of the Edogawa River.

Copyright © Mami Kiyoshi