W A G A S A : Kyoto
Paper umbrellas popped on the Japanese scene during the Edo period. Featured in many of the woodblock prints of Hiroshige Ando`s '100 scenes of everyday life' these wax coated paper umbrellas spared the people from the heat of the harsh, summer sun and sheltered them from rain. Utamaro Kitagawa also depicted these traditional umbrellas in his Ukiyoe (woodblock) masterpieces of beautiful women. These days, Japanese umbrellas play an important role in tea ceremony, dance, and Kabuki as an essential part of Japanese traditional culture. Geisha and maiko use them as well.