This full set of Hiragana craft stamps comes complete with a poetic philosophy!
The stamps in this set are made of wood and rubber and, as well as the full set of Hiragana characters, includes dakuten ( ﾞ) and handakuten ( ﾟ) modifiers plus more unusual, old fashioned kana such as ゐ and ゑ.
The small font size gives a delicate feel to your creative projects and is useful for writing longer text. Only a gentle press is needed to get a clear impression.
Each stamp measures 0.4cm x 0.4cm x about 6cm and the wooden block features an indentation for your finger to make it easier to grip, steady your positioning and ensure you are holding the character the correct way up.
The stamps are individually made by retro stationery company 36 Sublo in Kichijouji, Tokyo.
You may be used to seeing your Hiragana table organised in 'gojū-on' order, that's by vowel sound a, i, u, e, o. But what makes this stamp set so interesting is that the characters are presented in 'i-ro-ha' order.
'Iroha' is an ancient Japanese poem, the reading of which includes each and every kana sound. It's a bit like the Japanese equivalent of 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' which is pretty much a meaningless phrase but the Iroha poem has a lovely translation and philosophy.
The box lid for the set shows the poetic order but don't worry if you can't remember it, inside the box is a 'guide' set so you will know exactly where to put the stamps back in place.
To see the poem, the characters must be read like this (ref: www.sljfaq.org):
Iro wa nioedo
Waga yo tare zo
Ui no okuyama
Asaki yume miji
Ei mo sezu.
There are a couple of translations and interpretations out there but I like this one from Wikipedia:
Even the blossoming flowers [Colours are fragrant, but they]
Will eventually scatter
Who in our world
The deep mountains of karma
We cross them today
And we shall not have superficial dreams
Nor be deluded.
I'm sure you'll have countless creative ideas for the stamps but that little poem alone would be a lovely way to embellish your artwork - and practice your Japanese too!