Yoshihiro Sawada, photo by Yu Takagi:
I contacted Mr. Sawada in 2012, I think, with the purpose of ordering some of his very recognizable clay nose flute — they've got a pair of eyes with lashes painted on them — but RON answered me something like "I'm am sorry, I'm not totally satisfied, I have to work more on them".
After I recently saw that RON nose flutes were sold at some hanabue exhibitions, I contacted Yoshihiro and asked again. I made my market among the ones that were still available, but at the moment to ask for the price, I got no answer. I tried again to ask, and was answered « these nose flutes are a gift for you ». WOW!!!! What a great gift!!! Thank you a lot Mr. Sawada!
What I received were not only the 5 initial nose flutes I wanted to order, but also 16 more nose flute, ingeniously made from cardboard. Because Mr. Sawada has also designed several brillant (easy to build / efficient when played) cardboard nose flute templates. And besides the clay, he also works the wood...
1 - Paper Family 1
Among the numerous nose flutes I received from RON, there are several "families" of cardboard flutes. The first group looks to be named w15 and is composed of 8 different sizes — from 3 to 10 — dedicated to the different physiognomies, from little children to tall giants. In fact, Mr. Sawada, as written in the title, follows an ergonomic approach, notably regarding the distance between the nostrils and the mouth.
Finally, on the shorty, the space left to place the eyes is very small, just under the nose saddle, and so, the baby looks a bit angry :)
2 - Paper Family 2
Yoshiro Sawada also sent me the four sizes of an even clever cardboard nose flute he designed. Why "even clever"? Because this model is the simplest possible (I guess) template one could achieve: 2 parts, 6 foldings, 1 hole and only 2 points of gluing. It is declined in the sizes S, M, L and LL.
3 - Other paper
On the same system but with broader lateral "wings", RON made decorated nose flutes, either printing text and images on the template, or using photos, producing beautifully customized hanabue.