Japanese American National Museum
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[Handmade bunmawashi (compass) for black lines]

[Handmade bunmawashi (compass) for black lines]
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L: 4.0 in

Hawaii, unknown


Gift of Barbara Kawakami


1 compass : bamboo, metal, string, horsehair ; 4 in.

Handmade bunmawashi (compass) made of bamboo and metal with horsehair (?) paintbrush (2.75 in., 0.875 in. bristles) attached with string. Bamboo is split and jointed to make the compass; a tiny nail at one end serves as the pivot point. Bristles of the brush form a very fine point; black paint caked on.

Shizu Kaigo used the compass to draw a circle with fine fude (brush) tip to make kamon or mon (Japanese family crest) on formal kimonos for the Japanese community in Hawaii. This compass was used for white lines, the other (2004.1.161) for black lines.

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