As the end of the year approaches, in the town of Yusa, Yamagata Prefecture, a 95-year-old craftsman is making cocoons in the shape of a dragon in honor of next year's zodiac sign, Tatsu.

The sericulture industry has flourished in the town of Yuza in Yamagata Prefecture since the end of World War II, and 95-year-old Shigeko Takashiro, who lives in the town, has been making cocoon beads in the shape of the zodiac every year for about 50 years.

With the image of a dragon associated with the next year's zodiac sign, Tatsu, Takashiro completed the cocoon by attaching a cocoon that resembles a horn and tail to a cocoon dyed green, and adding gold and silver patterns to the face and back.

Mr. Takashiro said, "I made it with my imagination, and although it may not be the same as the real 'Tatsu,' it became a 'Tatsu' with a good face with a lot of momentum."

Ms. Takashiro will be 96 years old next year, and she is a "young woman," and she said, "I'm happy and proud when people say, 'I'll ask you to do this,' and I want to continue because it's my purpose in life."

There are two types of cocoon beads, a figurine with a pedestal and a traffic safety amulet, and a total of about 2 pieces will be made, and they will be sold at roadside stations in the town from around December 300th.