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Matsue Tourism NewsyVol.10z
Magatama
Hello EveryoneI
Is there any agate stone in your country?
Tamayu-cho in Matsue City is an area blessed with Tamayu Hot Springs and agate stone. There is a mountain here from which one can mine blue agate, and it is thought that the area acquired the place name eTamatsukurif, literally translated into English as ball making, as a result of the areafs long tradition of using the agate to making curved ornaments. This is a tradition that still exists today. According to ancient manuscripts people living in Tamatsukuri used agate to make the Magatama as an offering to the Gods. It is said that the Magatama is shaped like a moon layered with the sun to show appreciation of the universe. It is a sacred object that is said to protect and increase ones spiritual power, and as a result the Magatama is treated with the utmost respect.
A while ago we went to the eMagatama No Sato Denshokanf with Chinese intern, Ms. Zhang. The Denshokan provides one with the opportunity to see agate craftwork up close, as well offering a beautiful view of Lake Shinji while you eat your lunch at the nice restaurant there. From the City Hall in the middle of Matsue City, it took us 15 minutes to reach the Magatama Sato Denshokan by car.
The first thing we came across was a huge Magatama made out of agate stone. This Magatama is made from Agate stone that is thought to help prevent natural disasters and guide one on the right path. It is said that rubbing it brings you good luck.
After that, we put on aprons and proceeded to try our hand at Magatama craftwork.
This is the Magatama craftwork kit.
iSmooth sandpaper, Agate stone,Rough sandpaper, Rod file, Big File.j
The people running the work shop had already cut the stone roughly into Magatama shapes. From the ready cut stones one can choose their favorite. The stonefs design and brightness is supposed to vary depending on which one is chosen. There are many different colors of Agate stone, but the ones used in the workshop were white.
This is a sample. One must sand down the right side like in photos 1 to 5. So if one does this, they be able to make a Magatama as well as in the picture!?
Firstly, using the rough sand paper smooth out the rough areas created when initially cutting the Magatamafs curves.
This is the Magatama from the back. Use the sand paper to file away the dotted line parts, so the stone becomes a rounder shape.
Using too much power may result in sanding down too much, so itfs important to sand down with care.The curve on the inside of the Magatama is hard to file down with sandpaper, so a Rod File is used.
Next you file down the corners at the back of the Magatama so it become round and smooth
Using the rough sand paper to round off theentire piece by filling off the edges, the stone begins to take shape as a Magatama.
The powder covering my hands and desk from sanding down the Magatama was white.
Smooth out all the deeper scratches made by the rough sandpaper using the smooth sandpaper.


Next we used sandpaper in the water to sand off all the little scratches. Here you will be able to tell whether or not you were able to get rid of the smaller scratches or not. Only one able to use the sandpaper and get rid of all the scratches will make a smooth eMagatamaf. Repeat the following steps over and over until you get the surface smooth to your satisfaction.
1) Sandpaper the surface with water
2) Wipe dry with towel,
3) Check the surface for scratches.
Next we applied wax and rubbed it in with a towel. Here one will find out if they have a Magatama that will shine or not.
Our Magatamas do not appear to be ones that shine.
Then we picked the string and beads of our choice. We were told that some people spend up to 10 or 20 minutes deciding on which ones they want. As Ms. Zhang intended on giving the Magatama as a present to someone she gave it a lot of thought.
 
The person running the workshop ties the string together, and finally we have the finished project!

The one on the right is mine, and the one on the left is Ms. Zgangfs.
Upon completing the Magatama, everyone receives a certificate of completion.
This is the award ceremony.
This is a commemorative photo taken with the workshop assistant with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Shinji.
We were told that people who are fast will finish the workshop in about 1 hour. However it took me and Zhang 2 hours and 15 minutes.
We were so wrapped up in making the Magatama that we didnft realize the time. I am sure that there are some people how take even longer to finish.
It is estimated that 20,000 people annually come to take part in this workshop. However foreigners do not come very often. The workshop assistant explained that when foreign people do take part, it can be very difficult to explain small nuances such as how exactly to sand down the Magatama. However, when you come to Matsue please come and give this workshop a tryI
Although the Magatama may be difficult to make, it will serve you well in keeping you safe and bringing you happiness.
`Good bye beautiful Matsue` Ms. Zhang
Lijun Zhang, an intern that came to Matsue from Jilin City, finished her internship on the 16th of December and returned to Jilin City.
Ms. Zhang gives us her thoughts on her internship in Matsue.

In front of the office with co workers from the Tourism and Culture Promotions Division.
Good bye beautiful Matsue
Lijun Zhang, China, Jilin City.
My 6 months in Matsue has passed by as quick as a flowing river and I will soon be heading back to Jilin City. Arriving in Matsue I was nervous about my first ever experience as intern and as a student in a foreign country. However, everyone at the study centre and my internship placement were very helpful. I felt at first hand the enthusiasm and kindness that the people of Matsue have towards Chinese people. I would like to thank everyone in Matsue for their hospitality.
Matsue, as an International Sightseeing and Culture City welcomes many foreign tourists annually making full use of its natural resources. In the field of Tourism I studied a little on different subjects such as the main duties carried out by the Tourism and Culture Promotions Division, traditional events, tourism resources, maintenance of tourist attractions and tourism infrastructure. While I was studying, I was shown around all the tourist attractions in Shimane and some festivals. The information about Matsuefs tourist attractions on the website is put together in a way that is very easy to understand. Having this opportunity to experience Matsuefs natural environment and surroundings, I gained a deeper understanding of the lifestyle and culture here. As Matsue is so uniquely formed by its natural resources and historical background, I felt that as oppose to just making sightseeing more convenient, it is important to make Matsuefs history and tradition more apparent to tourists. I think both cities can learn from each others tourism activities. I hope I can use knowledge gained from my experience in Matsue to further develop tourism in Jilin City.
People working in the Tourism and Culture Division have a lot of work, often until late at night. They deal with and work not only for officials, but for everyone in Matsue. Everybody here has a good work ethic and follows certain guidelines. For example during a break, they would save energy by turning off lights that they donft need. I was moved by how kind my co-workers were. They made sure my internship was a rich and meaningful experience.
I will leave Matsue offering my blessings to the Matsue people and take with me memories of the beautiful sights, delicious food and friendly interactions with the people from Matsue. Using the knowledge I picked up on my internship here, I will return to Jilin City and introduce Matsue City to everyone and do my best to strengthen the ties between Jilin City and Matsue City.
Lastly, I sincerely hope for the prosperity of both cities in tourism and in economics. I also hope that the friendly relations continue and that citizens of both cities are always happy.
I would like to convey my appreciation to everyone one more time eDan-danf.
Both Chinese and Japanese use the same Chinese Characters, but often the meanings differ slightly meaning that Ms. Zhang often had trouble getting her point across. However, Ms. Zhang was a wonderfully bright character, whenever she talks to someone she would put them in a good mood with her great smile. Everyone at the Tourism and Culture Division was happy to have the opportunity to meet Ms. Zhang. and we hope that her career together with relations between China and Japan continue to flourish. eDan-danf Ms. Zhang
(eDan-danf means thank you in Matsuefs local dialectj
`Winter event announcement`
Matsue Dandan Warming food festival
1st isun. jof Feb. 2009 ` 28th isat.j of Feb. 2009
During the festival a range of hotels and traditional Japanese guest houses in Matsue will perfect a special menu to suit the cold weather of winter. There will also be stalls selling foods that are made entirely from local ingredients. Amongst all the foods that would be on offer at the stalls, the main attraction will be a dish called ethe Seven Dieties of good fortunef, which is a massive hot pot with a range of different ingredients in it. If you get to eat it, maybe you will be blessed with good luck..
`Announcement of Next Springfs event`
Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade on the 4th of April 09II
The date for the Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade has been decidedIThis is an event that is fun to take part in and also fun to just watch.
Every year many foreigners also take part.
We will let you know once details have been decided.
Matsue Newsletter Quiz
Who did our Chinese intern from Jilin City, Ms. Zhang make the Magatama for?
For those of you who donft know, please give the article another read.
The answer to the Matsue Newsletter Quiz, VOL..9
Q: ehow many people take part in the confectionary workshop in Karakoro Art studios each year?f
A: 4000 people. Did you know the answer?

Matsue Tourism news. Contact F kankou@city.matsue.lg.jp

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