10-1 Senri Expo Park, Suita, Osaka 565-8511, Japan
- Museum Top/
- Regional Exhibitions Cross-cultural Exhibitions/
- Culture of Japan/
- HI 2350, etc.
There are various types of sacred ropes, including shimenawa, made by twining straw to the left three, five, and then seven times, leaving the ends hanging down; wajime, knotted in a circle; ebijime, a curved form; and kazarimusubi, or decorative knots. People thought that ropes and knots had magical power. Ropes on the border of a village, at the entrance of a house, or in front of a temple, demarcate the sacred from the secular. Decorative ropes on the entrance of a house at New Year, as well as on the table for a wedding ceremony, indicate the border between the special and the mundane. Ropes later developed in many other forms as well. For example, in a tug of war, two teams of people pull one rope from each side, thus telling a fortune or foretelling the harvest. The ceremonial belt for sumo wrestlers called yokozuna represents their extraordinary power. The cord used to tie up the sleeves of a kabuki actor is another developed form of such ropes.