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Permanent Exhibitions|Tokamachi City Museum

Home > Permanent Exhibitions > Winter Tools

The Flame-style Pottery (National Treasure)

Life in a Jomon Village

Death and Burial

Oida Castle and Date-Hachimankan Ruins

Echigo Chijimi

Winter Tools

Echigo Angin

Silk Goods

Botanical Garden and Iseki Park

Winter Tools (Important Cultural Property)
About the Winter Tools

As an area known for its heavy snowfall, it is very common to see winter preperations well underway in Tokamachi in early November.


Straw Products
Light yet warm, straw was used to make footwear in the Snow Country. The taller boots were called suppon while shorter boots were called suppe. Wood was also used to make another type of shoe called geta.


Tools Used For Transportation
On the bottom right of the picture, there is a small, round device called kanjiki. Kanjiki is fixed beneath your shoes, and makes it easier to walk on snow. It distributes weight evenly preventing one from sinking into the snow. The larger devices are called sukari and gokari; they are used when there is fresh snow fall.

Making Paths In The Snow

In the Tsumari Region, a night's snowfall can sometimes be more than a meter deep completely blocking all roads and paths. Waking up early to pave new paths in the snow became a necessary daily task, especially in the time when snow ploughs were non-existent. In the picture on the right, you can see people pushing their way through the snow with kanjiki in order to create a path. The kanjiki are quite wide in diameter so a person's weight becomes evenly distributed across the whole shoe. In other words, they won't sink in the snow because their weight is instead distributed across a wider area. However, since the kanjiki is very large, it becomes difficult to step forward in it.


To overcome this, the leader wears a special kanjiki that has an extra string attached to the front of the shoe where the toes are. To proceed forward after making a step, the leader pulls the strings upwards to guide the foot back up. The process of paving new paths takes a long time so to prevent one person from tiring out, the group would take turns doing the hard work at the front.

To overcome this, the leader wears a special kanjiki that has an extra string attached to the front of the shoe where the toes are. To proceed forward after making a step, the leader pulls the strings upwards to guide the foot back up. The process of paving new paths takes a long time so to prevent one person from tiring out, the group would take turns doing the hard work at the front.

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