This pair of waraji, or ice straw sandals, were made for a child by an artist named Keizaburo Imaizumi in Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. They were crafted in the traditional zori fashion, with red cloth woven in at the toes, at the middle of the shoes, and at the heels. There is straw all around the sides of the soles, and attached at the toes, middle, and heels. This pair was never used and are still tied to each other.
The term “waraji” refers to traditional Japanese sandals made of straw rope. The longtime standard footwear of the lower classes, they were eventually adopted by the samurai class, though the manner in which one tied a pair of waraji depended on the wearer’s status and role in society. Waraji are traditionally worn for pilgrimages or farming work.
This type of waraji would be worn by a child on his or her first birthday ceremony, in which the baby would step on mochi (rice cake) offerings, and the family would pray for the child's good fortune.