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Colorful 'cocoon' ball display to brighten the mood held at hotel in central Japan

Pure white fabric "mayudama" balls and colorful decorations are seen hung at the "Mayudama no Sato" display at Hotel Sunvalley Fujimi in Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Jan. 18, 2021. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Ishikawa)

IZUNOKUNI, Shizuoka -- A display of white "cocoon" balls and colorful ornaments made from fabric hung on pieces of bamboo opened at a hotel in this central Japan city on Jan. 18.

    The event, "Mayudama no Sato," was held at Hotel Sunvalley Fujimi in Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture, for the 19th time this year, and will last until March 15. Each of the 20 bamboo pieces is hung with 500 to 700 fabric balls and ornaments.

    The word "mayudama" literally means cocoon balls. It is said that this custom originated in this area where sericulture used to flourish, and people hung the balls in the hope that the silkworms would make many cocoons.

    Pure white fabric "mayudama" balls and colorful decorations are seen hung at the "Mayudama no Sato" display at Hotel Sunvalley Fujimi in Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Jan. 18, 2021. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Ishikawa)

    There are many types of decorations, from an octopus, to pray for success in school exams, to strawberries, a local specialty. Twenty-four members of the Izu Nagaoka Mayudama Association gathered together to make the ornaments, while avoiding the "three Cs" of confined spaces, crowded places and close contact with other people.

    Ornaments of Amabie, the Japanese folklore creature to ward off diseases, and cows, the zodiac sign for this year, were prepared for sale.

    Miyuki Ozawa, a representative of the association, said, "I hope this event will ease your mind, even if just a little, in the midst of depression caused by the coronavirus pandemic."

    (Japanese original by Hiroshi Ishikawa, Numazu Bureau)

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