Oni-Gawara Roof Tile Goblin Workshop

Awajishima is famous for making “kawara” roof tiles.  There are lots of roof tile factories, particularly on the west side of the  island. “oni-gawara” is a flourish that some traditional Japanese roofs have, a scary looking goblin to ward off evil.

The kawara industry is in decline, as people are choosing more modern style houses, so some of the remaining factories are diversifying a little. This one in Matsuho, Minami Awaji-shi offers all kinds of tile making workshops, so obviously, we chose the goblin option.

They give you some basic instructions and the prepared, moulded tile shape and some extra clay. They also gave us some soft clay for our little one to play with.

I think we took a couple of hours to make our goblins. After about a month we were notified and went to pick up our fired goblins! The finish is a distinct sheeny dark gray.



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