There was question of binding the hokijiri with hemp or just instead of cotton (currently used) or paper string. What follows is my observations, considerations, and response to the inquiry:
Traditionally the hokijiri was bound in paper string, which added weight and solidity to the implement which was by its nature hollow. The way of binding with hitches all the way up the spine gave it a very elegant balance. I used cotton simply because paper string is expensive in fairly small quantities, while I can get large rolls of cotton string at the dollar store for $1-5 each. I will be implementing paper string binding at a later time and have it as an option on the shop.
For the hemp twine, I’ve been thinking of doing that myself just to see how it turns out. The first thing on my mind is that the hemp and jute are both heavier than either paper or cotton, and in my experience the exquisiteness of the hokijiri comes largely from the deception of it’s weight (light and elegant as a feather, but hits like a horse). The other thing is that depending on the diameter of the twine, it may make it wider, which of course changes the experience as well.
In the near future, I will be offering selective options for variations and design of the hokijiri, but for now it’s on a case by case selection via email or messaging.
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