Aka-chan fude: The baby's brush 赤ちゃん筆
First cut immortalized
Check out this unique custom of using your child's first hair to create a lucky brush to keep as a keepsake.
A precious memory
Traditionally, to keep track of the early childhood years of their offspring, parents create a photo album. In Japan, it is quite common to send the strands of hair cut during the child's first visit to the hairdresser in order to make a unique calligraphy brush , which is called aka-chan fude ( aka-chan means " baby ", and fude " brush ").
See also: Calligraphy
This custom has been going on for several hundred years and originated from the Buddhist religion . The brush should be made only with the baby's first hair , that is, the hair it had before it even came out of its mother's womb, which is described as soft and delicate. When made into a brush, this hair that has never been cut is believed to bring happy and healthy growth to the child, as well as intelligence .
Once the precious wick of at least 6 centimeters has been collected, it will simply have to be sent by post to a company offering the service. There are several in Japan, but most have their products made in Kumano , capital of the brush industry . In this small town near Hiroshima , one of the 80 family businesses will take care of transforming a few hairs into a real treasure.
To read: The craftsmanship of Hiroshima
For a hundred euros and about two months of patience , the happy parents will receive a small box containing the famous brush and on its handle are engraved the name and date of birth of the child . A custom that brings together traditions, crafts and culture of remembrance.