NIPPONIA No.26 September 15, 2003

This is also generally considered a girls' game. Take a string about 120 cm long, and tie the ends together to make a loop. The object is to make shapes with the string, using your fingers. Two people can play, or you can do ayatori alone. When competing, one player holds the string in a certain shape, and the other takes that string while making a different shape. The person who makes a mistake and ruins the intended shape loses. The shapes can be enjoyed for their fanciful beauty. Some people try ayatori to make something that will surprise friends. Here you can learn how to make a broom. You can do it alone, and the shape is easy to make, even if it's your first time.
How to make a broom
Place the string on your hand as shown, and then take the string where it is marked by the star. Pull all the way down.
With your right hand working from inside the big loop, hook your right index finger in the small loop on the left and your right little finger in the small loop on the right (loops indicated with stars).
The string and your hands should now be arranged like this. Pull the two small loops through the big one.
Put your left index finger, middle finger and ring finger into spaces A, B and C, respectively. Flip all loops over the back of your left hand, and then release your right hand.
Take the string where marked by the star. Flip it over your left fingers and pull it toward you.
Now you have a broom!

Two bamboo poles have wooden footstands. Once you can walk well on these stilts, you can set the footstands higher. Experts compete with each other like acrobats — for example, carrying one stilt on their shoulder and hopping on the other.


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