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Bergerac the home-made flipflop

Zouri workshopo (that's sandal workshop to you)

Michigo-san and Komi-san return after lunch to resume the rag flipflop sweatshop in our tatami room. Yesterday 5 of us managed to make 4 pairs, none (even our sensai (teacher) Komi-san) coming close to the ‘model pair’ made by local people with special needs.
The day began with the women unpacking bundles of old clothes to tear into strips, and of course within minutes Nina and I were shrieking “You can’t tear up this gorgeous old kimono!”. Komi-san then proceeded to half dress us with these motheaten but gorgeous things, and then insist on carefully folding them up for us to pack and take home. I wonder if us suggesting tearing up some old British clothes would have the same effect on them “No – you can’t possibly tear up those old Marks & Spencer slacks!”
Back to the flipflops: It’s basically made in a very simple way: woven with rag strips (like those nasty English ragrugs) onto looped rope as the sole – the ‘thong’ bit is rice straw in a sewn ‘sausage’ – and their charm lies in the unique patterns in the woven rags, which seem to have a distinctly Japanese feel.
My 1st attempt had everyone in hysterics – it was squint and too narrow to match Nina’s other of the pair – but I live in hope of finding a 8 year old in need of orthaepedic sandals. My 2nd attempt yielded a jaunty, rather nautical-looking pair in shades of black and blue – if Bergerac was a home-made flipflop, he’d be these.

Komi san & Nina try one of the doomed kimonos