Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Shimenawa, the sacred ropes demarcating sacred space, are traditionally made of rice straw.
In recent times plastic has started to be used sometimes. It has the advantage that the shimenawa needs replacing less often.
But in the climate of japan, even plastic is susceptible to mold! A lot of the plastic shimenawa are simply made from standard polypropolene rope.
I've seen a few made from a different kind of plastic as well.
Some people think that it is wrong to use plastic for these sacred objects. Rice straw traditionally had many uses, and nowadays so does plastic, so It seems natural to incorporate it.