Wednesday, 17 May 2017

On Bonfire Nights,

way back in the 1950s and 1960s,

 most kids saved up for fireworks and had a small family display in your back garden, nowadays this is not so common, but in Japan there are still four makers of sparklers, one of the companies is called Tsutsui Tokimasa Fireworks, their handmade sparklers are so beautifully packaged you might not want to burn them, and of course these can be used at any time of the year,

they make animal-themed fireworks like a dragon, which twists its body as it spews fire,

 and a whale, that blows sparks from its blowhole,

you’ll find the senko-hanabi (literally, incense fireworks), an extremely delicate yet beautiful Japanese firework, once lit, they start off as a small, shivering red ball, they pitter and patter a bit before suddenly blossoming into a flower of sparkle, but you have to hold them still or the tiny red ball will detach and fall to the ground and the display will be lost forever,  

  Tsutsui Tokimasa explains that their senko hanabi are made with just 0.08 grams of gunpowder, which has to be expertly inserted into the handmade washi paper, even 1/100th of a gram difference can make or break the sparkle, they also explain that these sparklers are meant to be aged like a fine wine, which is why they come in wooden boxes that keep out moisture, use some up this summer but then put away the rest and keep them for next summer, 

 for special occasions there is a beautifully packaged set of senko-hanabi with tips wrapped and folded like flowers, it includes a candle and candle holder,

the company has been making fireworks for over 80 years and appears happy to let you in on their secrets, in a detached space the company hosts group workshops where you can make your own fireworks, what a great way to spend a day and watch your creations thrill everyone in the evening.

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