提灯職人のご紹介
Introducing the chochin(japanese lantern) artisan

- 三国提灯いとやを支える提灯職人をご紹介します。 -
- I would like to introduce the chochin(japanese lantern) artisan who sustains the Mikuni Chochin Itoya. -

三国提灯職人小島まりや
Chochin ArtisanMariya KOJIMA

Profile

短大卒業後は病院の調理師となるが、25歳で提灯職人に転職。その後、結婚・出産を経て3児の母に。育児と両立しながら提灯を手がけるほか、事務全般や広報も担当している。

She became a cook after graduating the junior college, but became a lantern artisan when she was 25 years old. Later she got married and became a mother of three children. She is not only engaged in lantern production at the same time as raising children, but also holds managerial and public relations position.

調理師から提灯職人に。
父を助けたい一心で決意しました。

Becoming a lantern artisan from being a cook.
I made that decision out of sheer desire to support my father.

25歳の時に、病院の調理師から転職しました。父が祖父母の介護をしながら仕事をしていたので「このままでは父が倒れてしまう!」と思ったことがきっかけです。父は反対でしたが、とにかく父を助けたかった。安定した仕事からの転職は勇気がいりましたが、もともと物づくりが好きだったので抵抗はなかったです。

絵付けから始めて、次に骨組みを覚えました。和紙を貼る時に霧吹きで湿らせるのですが、力を入れすぎると薄くなるので加減が難しい。父には『感覚やで体で覚えるしかないわ』と言われました。父は『まりやは物づくりが好きで素直だから、教えやすい。素直であることは人間として一番大事だ』と言ってくれます。

提灯製造は分業制が多いのですが、いとやは一貫製造です。そのため覚える仕事も多く、父のすごさを実感しました。提灯職人になり10年以上が経ちますが、一度も喧嘩したことがありません。父にアドバイスをもらいながら提灯づくりに励んでいます。

私がいとやに入ったころ、経営上は窮地に立たされていました。けれど、父と娘で力を合わせ、いとやを守り抜きました。だからこそ今があります。父は自分で『働きバチだった』と振り返りますが、『正直者はぶれない』という信念で無我夢中で働く父の姿を見てきたので、親子、師弟関係以上の絆があります。

When I was 25 years old, I left my job as a cook at a hospital. I made that decision when I thought my father, who was caring for my grandparents in between works, would eventually collapse if he went on like that. He was against my decision, but I wanted to help him out at any rate. Although it took some courage for me to leave a stable job, it wasn’t much of a challenge for me as I always liked making things by hands.

I started out with the painting, and learned to construct the model next. I have to moist the washi paper with a spray when pasting it onto the model, but if I spray too hard, the paper becomes too thin, so it is difficult to exert the right pressure. My father advised me that the right feeling only comes with the actual experience. He tells me that he enjoys teaching me, because I am honest and like making things by hand, and that the most important character in human being is to be honest”.

Division of labor is common in the lantern production, but Itoya carries out all the processes in house. Therefore, there was so much there for me to learn, which made me realize how great my father was at his work. It has been more than 10 years since I became a lantern artisan, but I and my father have never had a fight. I am devoting myself to lantern making with the help of my father’s advice.

When I just started working at Itoya, it was facing a difficult financial situation. However, I and my father worked together to protect Itoya to the end. That hard work brought us where we are today. My father evaluates himself then as a “worker bee”, but I have watched him work feverishly with a conviction that “an honest person never wavers,” which made our ties go beyond that of either parent-child or master-disciple.

職人として、3児の母として。
創業230年の「いとや」を守り育みたい。

As an artisan and as a mother of three.
I want to sustain and nurture the Itoya’s history of 230 years.

提灯職人となり、人生が180度変わりました。いとやは江戸時代に創業し、200年以上の歴史がありますが、それを知ったのは提灯職人になってからです。大変なことも多いですが、さまざまなことに挑戦できるので楽しいです。

My life changed 180 degrees since becoming a lantern artisan. Itoya has been established in Edo period and has a history of more than 200 years, but I only became aware of it after becoming a lantern artisan. Despite facing quite a few difficulties, I enjoy being able to take on various challenges.

この10年で結婚・出産し、子供が3人います。産後はすぐに仕事に復帰し、赤ちゃんを横で寝かせながら仕事しました。夕方に保育所に迎えに行き、いとやに戻って、それから自宅に帰り家事育児を済ませ、繁忙期には子どもが寝てから仕事に戻ることもあります。前職ではたった10分の残業も嫌でしたが、今はやりがいが大きく、夜中まで夢中で働いています。

I have married and gave birth to three children in these 10 years. I have returned to work right after childbirth, and worked while laying the baby next to me. I had to pick up my child from the nursery school, go back to Itoya, come home and do all the housework, and in busy season, go back to work after my child has gone to sleep. I used to hate even 10 minutes of overtime work at my previous work, but I find my current one so rewarding that I often work until midnight without knowing it.

子どもたちが「大きくなったら提灯職人になる」と言ってくれます。私が小さい時は、提灯づくりは地味なのでやりたいと思いませんでしたが、子どもたちが大きくなるまでに華やかな職業に変えたい。提灯づくりの魅力が伝わる工房や働きやすい環境を整えることが私の新たな目標です。

My children tell me that they want to be a lantern artisan when they grow up. When I was small, lantern making seemed rather drab and I never wanted to get involved with it, but I want to make it a colorful profession before my children grow up. My new goal is to create a studio, which can convey the appeals of lantern making, and an environment that is easy for anyone to work in.

次世代へ繋げていくために。
提灯の新しい可能性を求めて。

In order to passing it onto the next generation
Exploring the new possibilities of the lantern.

神社仏閣の提灯製造も大切にしながら、これからは新しいニーズにも応えていきたいです。以前は提灯づくりしか考えていませんでしたが、子供が生まれたことで提灯づくりをどう次世代につなげていくかを考えるようになりました。

While continuing to put value on the lantern production for the shrines and temples, I would also like to meet the new demands from now on. Before I gave birth to my children, I only cared about making lantern, but now I also care about how the lantern making can be passed onto the next generation.

2018年、提灯製造の技術を生かした照明インテリアを制作しました。設計デザインをもとに一枚ずつ形の違う木型に和紙を貼り花びらに見立てて作り上げる、難易度の高いものでした。半年かけて完成した照明は、私の集大成となりました。試行錯誤を重ねましたが、初めて造形の世界に携わったことでスキルアップできました。

In 2018, I have produced a lighting equipment using a technique for lantern production. It was a highly challenging work of pasting washi paper onto the wooden model pieces each with a different shape to liken them to petals as based on the design drawing. The lighting equipment which took half a year to be completed has turned out to be culmination of my works. Although I had to go through trial and error, I managed to improve my skills by engaging myself with the world of formative art for the first time.

未知の世界への挑戦はステップアップのチャンスですし、提灯の可能性も広がります。難しいことでも頑張ればできるし、諦めたらそこで終わり。諦めなければ解決できるはず。いろいろなオーダーに応えながら、これからも提灯の新しい可能性を切り開いていきたいです。

Challenging oneself to a new world not only opens up the opportunity for self-improvement, but also widens the potential of lantern. You can overcome any hardships if you work hard enough, but it’s over as soon as you give up. I believe that I can solve any problems if I carry on. I would like to keep on exploring the new possibilities of lantern by responding to various orders.