For Handai or Ohitsu wooden rice containers, some have a copper ornament hoop (called “Taga”), which is a metal component attached around the body. Basically, it is made of copper, but some are made of stainless steel.
Taga is to prevent expansion of the wood. However, it slips down or comes off from the body in some cases. This is a natural phenomenon caused by the wooden condition.
Today we are going to explain how to deal with Handai or Ohitsu when Taga comes off.
How to Put Taga
When Taga comes off, it needs getting back on the body as soon as possible. This is because it will be hard to do so when the wood expands after a while.
If it partially comes off but is still stuck on the body, gently hit it with a hammer. To avoid deformation or damage, do not hit Taga directly, but hit it with buffer materials in between such as disposable wooden chopsticks.
Hitting one part intensively may cause Taga to be stuck in a wrong position and not move. Hit it little by little, clockwise or counterclockwise. When it returns to the original position, it’s done!
If it still wobbles, fill the Handai or Ohitsu container with water to let the wood absorb water. By this, the wood will slightly expand and Taga will be fixed in a stable position.
If it doesn’t work, repeat it several times – Take away the water to dry the container in a well-ventilated place for 3-4 hours, and refill the container to wait for 3-4 hours. This can work sometimes.
Storage of Handai and Ohitsu
For storage of Handai and Ohitsu, you need to dry it sufficiently. Remaining stains or water may cause mold.
For drying, leave it a in a well-ventilated shade for more than half day. Long-time exposure to direct sunlight is not allowed. Rapid drying may cause the wood to crack.
Taga is likely to come loose when you use it for a long term. Let’s try the way above if it happens.