Part 3 of the Japanese Gardening Tools Adult Coloring Pages is ready for you to color! This part features sharp tools – a Nata hatchet, Kama sickle and my favourite Japanese pruning shears, the red-and-white Okatsuna secateurs (sentei-basami). I have omitted the classic Japanese butterfly secateurs, although I own them. They are used for finer pruning. Hurried, or better, lazy gardeners like myself just never seem to have the time to get them out of their pocket… I just carefully snip thin branches with my sentei-basami.
From top left, clockwise:
Nata (鉈), a slim hatchet, is the pride and joy of many Japanese gardeners. I was so proud to finally own one myself.
Sentei-basami (剪定鋏), or pruning shears, are the one tool my colleagues and I never without. I would immediately notice the missing weight on my hip. Once, I lost mine in a heap of leaves and branches. I was useless the rest of the day until my gardener friends went back to the working place and looked for them while I was on a different working site.
The Sanmata (三又), is one of those archaic tools that prove their worth again and again. Lifting and moving heavy boulders and stones through narrow entranceways and in tight tsuboniwa gardens were no Kubota mini excavator ever goes. With its three wooden poles and a pulley, the rock is hoisted up and then carefully transported, moving one of the legs at a time. Simple, genius.
Shuronawa (棕櫚縄、シュロ縄), is a rope made out of hemp-palm fiber. It comes in its naturally beautiful brown color or dyed pitch-black. It is super water-resistant and very durable. We used it to tie the joints of bamboo fences, like this one in Kodai-ji here.
Careful, though, because the black ink sits in every crease of the fingers for at least a day or two. Sure, you can wash your hands with soap and brush with a tawashi (also made of hemp-palm fibers). Some recommend using gloves, but that means you lose traction when pulling the rope tight to make a otoko musubi knot. And what good is having a loose knot? So, wear your dirty fingertips with pride. You worked hard and your hand can show it.
Kumade (熊手), bamboo rake with the wonderful literal translation of bear-hand or bear-claw. Oh so light, these rakes are perfect for raking leaves on gravel and grass. The natural flexibility of the split bamboo teeth allow the gardener to apply only as much pressure as needed. If not treated carefully, the teeth can break, which is a sorry sight. If not degraded to more heavy work, like raking branches, they can also be repaired in fifteen minutes with a similar bamboo piece and some wire. I wonder how many plastic rakes can be repaired at all.
Kama (鎌), sickle that I’ve used for cutting long weeds and grass. In Kyoto, I rarely used it, but during my work in the Kanto area, we used it every day. I found it so useful for weeding small areas. It’s one of those tools like a jigote, you didn’t know you need it until you use it.