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Bōji (ボウジ)

A strip of cloth like a bandage. Bōji is used for wrapping bamboo or wooden props (such as tool handles) to improve their beauty and strength. There are many variations of bōji. Plain colours include white, which is the most frequently used, as well as red and navy. Striped patterns called "dan-bōji" include a reddish earth colour (iro-iri, literally means “with red”) and a bluish one (iro-nashi, literally “without red”). Dan-bōji with a reddish earth colour is also called "kō-dan". Bōji with striped patterns are often used for decorating scenery, including carriages and shrines, by creating zigzag shapes with the strips. Because the scenery is rebuilt for each performance, the strips are removed and neatly rewound afterwards for the next use. Bōji is written in several alternative ways with Chinese characters, including "棒地" (fabric for a rod), "帽子" (cap) and "包地" (wrapping fabric).

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