Earlier this week, magical girl fans across Japanese Twitter began sharing pictures of an ancient-looking magical girl wand—and it’s easy to see why. With motifs of crescent moons, clouds, hearts, and feathers in Buddhist-inspired patterns, it looks like an authentic relic passed down through the ages.
— うちゃか (@sayakaiurani) February 1, 2023
In truth, however, this magical girl wand is a lacquer artwork created by student Karin Okumura. The wand, titled “Your Magic -01-“, was displayed at the Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduation Works Exhibition and served as her graduation project.
In an interview with Japanese news site Netlab, Okumura said this about her artwork: “It is a magic wand made to give courage and confidence through a fusion of modern culture and traditional craft techniques.” Expanding on this idea, Okumura talked about how the work was born from her insecurity about how she compares to her peers. Inspiration struck when she remembered the magical girl anime of her youth and wished she had a magical item that would give her the strength and courage she needed in her own life. All that was left was to design and craft it.
— おくむら (@machiyuyutao) January 30, 2023
She combined the wand idea with her love of Buddhist statues—feeling that the things they other hold in their hands are, in a way, a lot like magical items. Specifically, she used the traditional Buddhist khakkhara staff as a major piece of inspiration for the overall design. The wand employs several lacquering techniques, from eggshells and a mother-of-pearl inlay to foil stamping and hiramaki-e.
— おくむら (@machiyuyutao) February 5, 2023
Okumura is happy that her artwork has become so popular on the net. “Even within the world of handcrafts, lacquer art is generally not very well known, so I hope this will help increase the number of people who are interested in it, even if only a little.”
Karin Okumura can be found on Twitter at @machiyuyutao.