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TRADITIONAL CRAFTS

Okinawa

Yonaguni Ori

Yonaguni Fabrics

Woven textiles

Yonagunijima is island of border at the westernmost tip of Japan. The history of Woven textiles born in this island is old, and it is thought that there is the history of about 500 years from old documents.

Situated on the extreme western boundary of Japan, records show that weaving on Yonaguni Island dates back some 500 years, and cloth was already being paid as a tax during the 1520s. During the difficult times after World War II, fishing nets were unraveled to provide yarn for this cloth, which is still woven by the women, who devote so much time producing this cloth that is very representative of the island's natural environment.

Akita

Odate Mage Wappa

Odate Bentwood Work

Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork

When Yoshinobu Satake who was military commander of Toyotomi who lost in the Battle of Sekigahara was made to move from Mito that was previous territory to Akita by Tokugawa shogunate government, as for the living of citizen of territory of Akita, there was even person who was in trouble for food on the poorly at all day.

Satake Yoshinobu was a military commander who fought with Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Hideyoshi was vanquished and Satake was ordered by the Tokugawa Shogunate to move from his former domain of Mito to Akita in the extreme north of Honshu. He found the people there were very poor and some did not even have enough to eat. As castellans of Odate castle, the western branch of Satake family set about trying to relieve the poverty of their people by using the rich supplies of timber to be found in the fief.

Mie

Suzuka Sumi

Suzuka Sumi Ink Sticks

Writing tools and Abacus

We burn produced pine in crowd of Suzuka early in the Heian era and take oil smoke, and what harden it with glue, and made sumi is informed with opening.

The making of ink sticks here is said to have begun at the end of the 8th century, when soot was obtained by burning pine that was cut from the mountains around Suzuka. An animal glue was then added to the soot which was dried and used to make ink.

Fukuoka

Hakata Ningyo

Hakata Art Dolls

Dolls and Kokeshi

The history of Hakata Ningyo is old and sails up at the beginning of the 17th century.

According to some people, the history of Hakata Ningyo dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. It seems that when Kuroda Nagamasa built Fukuoka castle, someone making ridge-end tiles for the castle developed his skills with forming and firing, and he gave one of the figures he made to the head of the clan.

Gifu

Gifu Chochin

Gifu Lanterns

Other Crafts

It was assumed opening that Gifu Chochin was made in Gifu in middle part of the 18th century and developed because Washi Paper, bamboo of raw materials were rich near.

Gifu Chochin were first made by Juzo, a lantern maker in Gifu and the abundant supply of local bamboo and paper contributed greatly to the development of the craft. It seems that lanterns with similar features to those available today were in general circulation around the first half of the 19th century, and while some were used for the Obon festival or Festival of the Dead, others were simply lit to enjoy the coolness of a summer evening.

Nara

Nara Fude

Nara Brushes

Writing tools and Abacus

When the sea of the sky crossed to Tang now approximately 1,200 years ago, be full of methods of the making of writing brush, and the history made with writing brush of Nara begins in having conveyed the technique to resident of Yamato country after having returned to Japan.

When the monk Kukai journeyed to China some 1,200 years ago, he made a study of brush making there and on his return, he passed on his knowledge to people living in the province of Yamatokoku that is now called Nara Prefecture. This marked the beginnings of brush making here.

Ishikawa

Kutani Yaki

Kutani Ware

Ceramics

It is Old Kutani Yaki (kokutaniyaki) that was begun in the ground of Kutani chinaware at the in the middle time in the 17th century by clay for chinaware having been discovered in mine of Kutani chinaware and craftsman of Kaga feudal clan having learned technique made with porcelain in present Arita-cho, Saga. Kutani porcelain made up the unique powerful style beauty to have both generosity and flamboyance of Hyakumangoku, Kaga culture, but was not made suddenly around the end of the 17th century. Kutani Yaki came to be burnt again afterwards when the 19th century began.

The first porcelain to be produced in the Kutani area was in the 17th century, when a member of the Kaga clan, Goto Saijiro, who had studied the techniques of making porcelain in Arita in northern Kyushu, set up a kiln making Kokutani ware, a suitable porcelain clay having been discovered in the area.

Fukushima

Obori Soma Yaki

Obori Soma Ware

Ceramics

It is said that Obori Soma Yaki was begun to make in the early period of Edo era (1690). It was in those days in the most big production center in the Tohoku district where more than 100 potteries lined up for last years in the Edo era because Soma feudal clan which ruled the district protected grilled manufacturing, and they brought up.

Indications are that the origins of Obori Soma Yaki go back to toward the end of the 17th century.

Aichi

Owari Household Buddhist Fittings

Household Buddhist Altars and Fittings

Industrial art object that Owari Household Buddhist Fittings is produced around Nagoya-shi, Aichi from early period of Edo era. We developed into resources as side job of low-class samurai of high quality wood produced in the suburbs of Owari in last part of Edo era. Wooden lacquering product is the center and features a variety of processes and the colorful finish.

Hiroshima

Fukuyama Koto

Fukuyama Koto

Other Crafts

Beginning of Fukuyama Koto is said that it is about time when Fukuyama-jo Castle was built early in the Edo era. Artistic accomplishments were prosperous, and even Fukuyama fitted encouragement of each generation feudal lord, and, in castle town of Edo, songs and ballads, sound music were performed flourishingly.

It seems likely that the making of Fukuyama Koto started at the time of the erection of a castle at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868) in Fukuyama, which is now a city in Hiroshima Prefecture. Craft industries flourished in castle towns during the Edo period, and with encouragement from the feudal lord at the time, both accompanied and unaccompanied songs were very popular in Fukuyama.

Shimane

Sekishu Washi

Sekishu Paper

Washi Paper

In "Engi era expression (engishiki) written in the Heian era," the name of Iwami comes up.

While mention is made of Sekishu in the Engishiki, a Heian period (794-1185) document on court protocol, a more direct reference to paper is made in the Kamisuki Chohoki, a ""A Manual of Papermaking"" published in 1798. It says that when a Kakinomotono Hitomaro went to take up the post of protector in the province of Iwami (Shimane prefecture), he taught the people there how to make paper.

Chiba

Boshu Uchiwa

Boshu Rigid Fans

Other Crafts

It is the Edo era that the making of round fan began in Kanto. Awa was production center of bamboo which became materials of round fan in those days. The making of round fan in Awa was said to be from about 1877 and seemed to be produced as big product of Awa-gun in 1884 (Meiji 17).

The making of rigid fans in the Kanto area centered on Edo (Tokyo), began sometime during the Edo period (1600-1868), when the nearby province of Boshu was producing quantities of bamboo for fans. The actual making of what has come to be known as the Boshu rigid fan, however, started sometime toward the end of the 1870s and by 1884, these fans were the biggest selling item produced in the area's Awa county.