How It's Made - Japanese Kazuho Whisk

Hand slicing into piece of bamboo with a knife

Step 1: Katagi - Owari

Cut the stripped raw bamboo in half with a large split knife

Piece of bamboo sliced in halfway and cut into many strands to form a whisk shape

Step 2: Katagi

Split the stripped bamboo into splines to make the tip

Person using a knife to trim the edges of the sliced bamboo

Step 3: Katagi - Touiri

Separate each piece into skin and meat with a kitchen knife and remove the meat

Hand working on the making of a bamboo whisk

Step 4: Kowari - Kowari

Split each tine into 10 pieces, alternating thin and thick weights to create 160 equal tines

Hand pulling apart tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 5: Cut into Small Pieces

Carefully tear apart the individual tines using your hands

Hand separating thick and thin weight tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 6: Cut into Small Pieces

80 thick tines make up the outside ring and 80 thin tines make up the inner

Hand shaving the tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 7: Ajikezuri

Boil the tip and carefully shave it to taper toward the tip

Hand carefully shaving individual tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 8: Ajikomi - Shaving

It is said that the flavor of the tea changes depending on the shavings' flavor—this is the most difficult step in the process

Hand shaping tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 9: Seasoning - Squeezing

Once shaved to the proper thickness, the tines are ironed to curve inwards

Hand weaving thread around tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 10: Chamfer

Both corners of the thick tines are thinly shaved and woven with cotton thread so that the tea does not stick to them

Hand weaving thread around tines of a bamboo whisk

Step 11: Part 2

The thick tine that was opened in the lower layer is further woven two times to reinforce the base

Hand holding a completed tea whisk

Step 12: Waistline Tailoring

Adjust the height of the inner and outer tines to adjust the overall shape and complete the Takayama tea whisk