What is "Akabeko"?

Akabeko is well known as a protective diety in Aizu area, Fukushima prefecture, which is the third largest of Japan's 47 prefectures
and stretches over 150 kilometers from the Pacific coast into the mountainous interior of northeastern Honshu (main island ).

"Aka" means red, and "beko" means cow or bull.
In Japan the ear of 2021 is called as the "Year of bull". So, it is said that the toy or decoration items shaped of bull bring happiness this year.

Furthermore, "Akabeko" should work so hard because people pray the Covit-19 goes down.

"Akabeko" has several histories.
In 8th century, when an epidemic "small pox" was expanded all of Japan, it isa said that a red haired bull "Akabeko" completely drove away the disease and the red bull became a symbol of protection of harm.
Another history, in 17th century, when one of the important temple in the are Enyuji was collapsed by the great earthquake
strong red haired bull helped a lot to rebuild it in climbing the cliff.

Anyway, bulls, especially red haired bull is so powerful and tough, they contributed to prosperity of people.
However, do you think that "Akabeko" look so strong for you?

Your answer should be "No".
Akabeko looks more cute than strong.

In Japan, it is so difficult to become popular if animal figurines look "too strong" or "too powerful".
The base of this feeling is by the animism; we coexist with the spirits of animals or nature and live always together.
If we always live with them together, we need to make our heart calm, so even Akabeko is extremly strong, its face looks cute.

This is why, red haired bull "Akabeko" is so popular as a "lucky bull" and is loved so much by a lot of people.

Regarding this toy of the sacred bull, we have to focus on the traditional technique of "Hariko".
Hariko is the technique of several layer of Japanese paper.

The procedure of make up "Akabeko" is as follows;

1, Make the base of figure "Akabesko" with wood.
2, Paste fine Washi paper(Japanese paper) many times with glue and make them dry.
3, Cut in the back and stomach of Akabeko to pull out the base of wooden figure.
4, Paste fine Washi paper(Japanese paper) again and again.
5, Add the red color and black motif.
6, Set the head of bull to finish.


Our online store deal "Akabeko" of good quality from Fukushima prefecture.
Please visit following website for the detail.
https://store.kyotohandicraftcenter.com/collections/akabeko/products/ty017


Akabeko may bring you the courage and vitality!



AkabekoLucky item