The gigantic square kite doesn’t look like it should be able to fly. Made with bamboo and rice paper imported from Japan, the Hamamatsu tako (kite) takes hours to construct -- each joint tied together with twine, every surface carefully painted.
Goyo Kazuka -- who was born in Hamamatsu, Japan, home to this particular style of kite-making and a famous annual kite festival -- grew up watching kite battles. Today, he works with the International Association of Tako Age to teach others the traditional methods, bringing Hamamatsu kites to the Berkeley Kite Festival and new generations of kite-lovers.
Kite-building is, by its very nature, an exercise in community building.
As Kazuka says, “Making kites takes lots of time by hand, so you need lots of hands.” -Sarah Hotchkiss