Kaba ZaikuAkita Cherry-Bark Work

As for the Kaba Zaiku, it is considered to be opening at the end of 18th century that technique was introduced into Kakunodate from the Ani district of North Akita by Satake north house.
Kaba Zaiku which was under the protection carefully spread out to the lord of a castle of Satake north house as side business of low-class samurai. When the Meiji era began, work that it might be said that it was today's model came to be made by having wrestled in earnest because samurai who lost salary got income.

It seems that Kaba Zaiku goes back to the end of the 18th century, when the techniques were passed on to the people in Kakunodate by the Satake Kita-family from the Ani district in the north of Akita Prefecture.
The production of cherry-bark goods was given the patronage of the feudal lord to which the Satake Kita- family was attached and was taken up by lower-ranking samurai, firstly as a part-time occupation. Then at the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912) this work became a major source of income for them after they lost their warrior status. They then started to produce the prototypes of today's cherry-bark goods.

Made from the bark of wild cherry, this work cannot be found anywhere else in Japan. There are about twelve different types of bark including amekawa, chirashikawa and hibikawa, the choice of bark depending of the article being made. The variations of the bark mean that no two pieces are ever the same. Nearly always applied to a carcass, many different articles can be made using this very appealing natural material but one of the most effective celebrations of its qualities is for tea caddies.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    "Only, oh, as for "the preparation," "rain skin of" do "hold birch" "silver system" "system" "crepe" "normal skin" "flyer" "crack skin" using kitchen knife" with the bark so that or it is in "skin of twice".

    Work is thing by any of the following.

    Of "model" when look good, thing by the next technique or technique.

    "The training" "is made with core body" and "trunk skin of tension" do "trunk wall tension" and "mouth birch tension". In this case, the adhesion loses "glue tension" using "shoe tree" and iron.

    The joining of "trunk skin" and "mouth birch" is thing by "we hit eyes composing type".

    We grind "it is sky ground decision".

    When you are to thing doing "trunk limit", do "grinding".

    Do "narrow veranda tension".

    "Sky skin tension," "Amanai skin tension" do "bottom skin of tension" and "bottom wall tension".

    Of "bare wood" when look good, thing by the next technique or technique.

    Bare wood structure mold material which did "finish" after having done "lining" using tree nail or glue.

    We grind "cover". In this case, "we hit, and, in "the around the quarters of corner-maru part of bare wood," it be said with eyes composing type".

    Of "tatami mat" when look good, thing by the next technique or technique.

    "Birch tatami mat" does not have gnarl, and do pressure bonding using iron plate which heated thing which applied glue to "birch" with luster.

    Use mushrooms with breastplate and knife for molding.

    Polish "finish" using leaf of mook and dust after "wild run-in kitchen knife" sounded using scouring rush and "finish kitchen knife".

    Raw materials

    Assume the bark to use thing of beniyamazakura or wild cherry tree.

    It be said that bare wood has materials which are equal to hoo, cedar, hinoki, hiba or drill or these.

  • Work scenery

    Kaba Zaiku which is described as "bark art that is unique in the world." * comes over and sharpens the bark of wild wild cherry tree thinly and is used for decoration of furniture which we made use of feel of a material of the bark in to the maximum.
    Kaba Zaiku greatly separates and can classify in three products. It is bare wood thing which is enlarged, and did table of several tatami mats to put on top of one another, and to be old, and to process into broach and pendant obi stopper now of model that surrounded the bark to pillbox or tea caddy. We process the bark (birch) of wild cherry tree thinly and stick with iron (iron), and work which we made use of characteristic of material in is built up.
    We introduce process of model thing which is representative work of Kaba Zaiku here.

    Process 1: Monacanthus

    We strip off the bark of wild cherry tree. There are more changes birch removed from aged tree which weather the hardship than planting tree, and grew up, when worked, beauty shines; look. We distribute leather name by leather general view. Luster is deep, and "crepe skin of" which smooth "rain skin of" is called so by skin of best that contained chap lengthwise and done "crack skin of" because gelatinousness in skin of is seen into a crepe form is a great variety of.
    Collection of birch puts blade in approximately 30 centimeters of bark and we tear off cut open and dried slowly as if turning up the epidermis which exfoliated and are performed. It obstacles for tree to be made to skin, but gradually regenerates the bark without tree weakening if we do not strip off all the bark of one tree.

    Process 2: We sharpen birch

    We cut to size of thing which we want to make with a choice of birch. We put iron which we moisten water and heated and take habit of birch which stretches straight out birch, and was accompanied in a circle.
    Luster emerges to birch when we sharpen the surface with wide kitchen knife.
    It is said that it takes three years just to learn this process.

    Process 3: Glia (glue) coating

    We paint birch which we sharpened thinly to be easy to play tricks with glia and dry.

    Process 4: The training

    Model thing is called another name training thing. Wind birch around shoe tree made of Itaya, and put iron, winding kiguseotsukemasu. We take off birch from shoe tree once if we take and polish birch.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 5: Pasting

    We stick birch on wood becoming core. We paint with glia and put birch and adhere carefully so that wrinkle is not left using iron. Wrinkle becomes easy to be left by all means when we use synthetic adhesive not glia. Art is necessary for glia and how to hit heat and irons of iron.
    What fire is lighted by all means in studio of Kaba Zaiku craftsman, and free uncus (jizaikagi) hangs over is because you must always warm glia and iron.

    Process 6: Topping on food, sky tension

    We process the sky and the bottom of the pipe. We sharpen by knife and hang plane (plane) and level taruki (turn) equal to relationship. We stick birch using glia and iron in the same way as part of pipe.
    If the sky is over, we process part of bottom equally.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: Finish (polishing)

    We divide into several phases and polish to take roughness of the birch surface, and to give luster. Arrive and polish powder after scouring rush polishing, leaf polishing of mook. When we paint with some sideburns (bottle) reckoning oil and polish with dishcloth, depth increases in luster, and bitter brightness that re-bino life seemed to be recorded on appears to birch.


  • Close-up

    Colorful Kaba Zaiku to living that wild cherry tree gives

    Kaba Zaiku which makes use of feel of a material of the bark of wild cherry tree, and is made is the whole country, but the technique is succeeded only in Kakunodate. While luster that kept on the bark of wild cherry tree by unique technique is simple pattern, he/she gives daily livings warmth and color.


    The beauty of nature which developed from side business of samurai

    It is informed origin of Kaba Zaiku of Kakunodate that is said to be unique bark industrial arts in the world with opening that technique was initiated into kashinfujimurahikoroku of the Satakes who ruled here for (1771 through 88) in the year in dawn by mountaineering ascetic of Ani district. As for the Kaba Zaiku to see the development, only accessories such as pillbox and cigarette cases were made as piecework of low-class samurai at first, but tea caddy, small box, corner tea pivotal nadono pipe thing and bare wood thing came to be gradually made.
    Kaba Zaiku which added hand to the bark of wild cherry tree which grew wild in the neighboring mountains, and drew beauty to limit. Speaking of Kaba Zaiku, it is this person and first person, Kintaro Koyanagi of given Kaba Zaiku of the name that told the charm since before authorized system of Master of Traditional Crafts was enacted.

    Out of joy approved with teacher

    Furniture embezzled well which feels the history even if we take nothing lines up in small size studio as it does not reach 6 tatami. The steam approximately number shaku goes up from old iron kettle put on the fire and adapts ourselves to room. Koyanagi who continued making Kaba Zaiku silently in this unaffected studio is modern master craftsman receiving many commendation commencing with Labor Minister Prize.
    He/she told story every day while moving some cushions which would sit in the same place. "It was big opportunity when it sprinkled for this work to have had Mr. Muneyoshi Yanagi (association of people art's chairperson in Japan) recognize when we were young." It has good Kaba Zaiku and is easy to use, and it is said that we were able to have pride toward the making of Kaba Zaiku because unique beauty was praised as bark industrial arts in the world. We let level of the acme cultivated by experience in long time feel from the figure to talk about calmly while polishing tea caddy not finished making. The minute skill that continues being still polished after time of 65 records brightness of life on skin of rough wild cherry tree originally.
    "We generally think used industrial art object." to have to be "business namely ken" It does not seem to be to tool which holds in hand and is used, and is loved without robustness only with beauty.

    It is studio where iron kettle making a sound calmly matches well

    Why is person attracted by skin of wild cherry tree?

    Decoration does not necessarily have to use by everyday living. However, why will person be attracted by work of the bark? He/she answered when we asked so Koyanagi, what "demanded nature feels like such as human instinct.". After person was born on the earth; approximately 5 million years. Person lived in most time in forest. Meanwhile, it may be instinct wrapped up in depth of quality of human nature that there is together all the time, and feel ease on the bark which we stared at.
    "Difference of each bark is incomprehensible as we process skin by machine recently." As for the bark which is natural material, the same thing does not originally exist as one. To the difference, it is said that it is craftsman that draw the leather good point. Many works wrapped carefully was unit-related Kaba Zaiku which there was that there was not nothing same thing.

    The making of work in conformity to skin, each wild cherry tree

    We follow tradition of production center by upbringing of successor

    It is said that Koyanagi does not take pupil now. We were able to take care of pupil, but seem to want to concentrate on own work in one's youth at the present when age was repeated. It produced many master craftsmen so far, but, in here Kakunodate, is eager in upbringing of successor now. Craftsman can show demonstration made with Kaba Zaiku every day in Kakunodatemachi Kaba Zaiku Denshokan Museum. Kaba Zaiku marks line with goods of poor quality made in large quantities by machine in other areas concerning minute bark industrial arts due to hand of Japanese person that the world has only one no. The skill made with Kaba Zaiku which positioning as local industry has a big is initiated only craftsman working in hometown into. There seems to be person who comes from the outside, and is going to wear the skill, but does not seem to readily last long.

    Library: Time to take out book becomes long in coming

    We protect mountain and follow tradition

    Skin of wild cherry tree becoming raw materials is gathered in mountain by person called "Monacanthus". As for the traditional Monacanthus which it continued while following wild cherry tree, quality changed without tearing off the bark from one tree entirely if postwar, and it seemed to increase to tear off while bullying tree. It comes to be used for building materials which only put the bark on wood that birch is called "choice wood" except Kaba Zaiku, and this is because collection more than ability to regenerate of mountain became performed. We did not seem to break wild cherry tree and mountain in traditional Kaba Zaiku, but local association works on sai* of wild cherry tree positively with town in the present when pain is intense.

    It is torn off from tree, and skin of wild cherry tree which finished life is given life by hand of expert craftsman again once. Kaba Zaiku letting you feel warmth of nature in hue that is the depth is present from mountain which gives everyday living ease strangely.

    Craftsman profile

    Kintaro Koyanagi (koyanagikintarou)

    It was born in 1921.
    One of master craftsman in modern master craftsman who spent almost all lives on the making of Kaba Zaiku.


    Beauty to come out of severe survival

    The bark comes to be used in other fields, and, by temporary surplus collection, the bark becoming raw materials of Kaba Zaiku decreases. In late years planting and study of wild cherry tree came to be conducted flourishingly and knew the environment to take the good bark.
    With tree which plants with trees, and grew up on good condition, it does not become the bark with chaste refinement suitable for Kaba Zaiku. The bark which is produced from poverty tree which nutrition was not careful to enough without it being blocked by other plants that we are suitable for Kaba Zaiku, and light hitting well. Such bark makes use of the skill of craftsman well and can record re-bino soul.
    We can change figure into beauty that we are about to accuse at heart of person hard simply because it is skin of live tree while weathering the hardship in severe Kakunodate of winter cold and snowfall. Alms of mountain seems to convey straight kirumononokenagesao to us in the natural world.

    • Life is recorded again and becomes Kaba Zaiku



Industrial art object name Kaba Zaiku
Phonetic symbol kabazaiku
Classification of industrial art object Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork
Main product Tea caddy
Main production area Akita / Senboku-shi
The designation date February 26, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

Kakunodate industrial arts cooperative association
Mountains of Kakunodatemachi, Senboku-shi, Akita outside 18
TEL: 0187-53-2228
FAX: 0187-53-2293

■Associated exhibit space, facility


We cannot see elsewhere in the country made using peel of a tree of wild cherry tree. There are approximately 12 kinds such as rain skin, flyer skin, crack skin of, and leather kind of tree can use properly depending on use. Finished work does not have the same thing.

Kaba Zaiku cherry bark products, made from the bark of the Yamazakura mountain cherry tree, are one-of-a-kind in Japan. There are over twelve varieties of bark used in producing Kaba Zaiku wares including varieties such as candy skin bark and torn bark, each chosen in accordance with the design. Thanks to their hand-crafted process, no two products are alike in the world.

How to make

We sharpen peel of a tree of wild cherry tree and engrave thing which puts only skin of thing and tree which we put on the surface of bare wood as for several levels, and repeated and we polish and finish.

First, the bark of the Yamazakura mountain cherry tree is peeled. Then using only the bark and decorations on its surface, countless layers are made, and then the shape carved, and then polished for finishing.

Voice from production center

You avoid direct rays of the sun to have you use habitually for a long time, and please sometimes wipe with tender cloth in direction of leather eyes. Is peculiar to birch; is shiny.

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