Edo SashimonoEdo Joinery

In the Edo era, Tokugawa shogunate government called many craftsmen together from the whole country and we made Shokunincho of Daikumachi, Kajicho, Konnyacho and, around Kanda, Nihonbashi, developed the manual industry.
Work of carpentry was divided into occupations such as Japanese oak man of experience (string expands), master of sliding storm door and a sliding paper door, master of palace with the development of consumer life in middle part of the Edo era. One is cabinetmaker and follows at the present.

Many skilled individuals were encouraged to live and work in Edo (Tokyo) by the Shogunate right from the outset of the Edo period (1600-1868), and craft industries developed as a result of the formation of enclaves within the districts of Kanda and Nihonbashi for such specialists as carpenters, smiths, and dyers.
The emergence of a consumer society that took place in Japan from about the middle of the Edo period in turn led to a specialization among carpenters, with some producing bentwood goods, others making fine screens and doors, and still others who constructed religious and palace architecture. Fine cabinet makers and joiners also emerged and are still active to this day.

While fine cabinetry and joinery in Kyoto developed as a result of supplying the needs of the Imperial court and the tea ceremony, the style which still characterizes Edo Sashimono developed by meeting the requirements of the warrior classes, merchants and Kabuki actors resident in Edo. In essence this distinctive Edo style is expressed through sturdy construction and a brevity of form, while avoiding unnecessary ornamentation and maximizing the effects of an attractive grain. Perhaps the best and most highly acclaimed of all the woods used is the so-called shimakuwa, a mulberry from the island of Mikurajima.

The range of goods produced today includes chests, desks, various kinds of stands and shelves. Boxes are also part of a repertoire which is completed by hibachi, items for the tea ceremony and pieces associated with the playing of Japanese music.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Drying is thing by naturally drying.

    Production is thing by the next technique or technique.

    Use ruler, carpenter's square, work top and hand saw for timber conversion.

    Let join, and rub together, and, using tree expectation, plane, long plane and small change, join, thing by half-lap joint piece, employ izane piece.

    Use flat plane, long plane, sinew marking gauge and Kiguchi stand to sharpen.

    Means are things by means that are equal to concealment of flagging down form ant box joint, candle tenon, dado patch, box joint, retreat miter, Mikata flagging down tenon, ramming tenon or these methods using saw, ruler, plane and chisel.

    When you process carving processing or chestnut, use chisel, chisel, chestnut small sword, mawashi pull saw and plane.

    Assembling applies adhesive to means part using braid, hammer, wooden hammer, small change, splint, chamfering plane, flat plane and circular plane, and assemble.

    Use flat plane, chamfering plane and circular plane to finish, and to sharpen.

    Use thing having scouring rush, property that is equal to leaf or these of mook for abrasion.

    You wipe coating using lacquer, thing that they are, and dirt wax, tofummata have materials which are equal to these, and do lacquer finish, waxing finish or times finish.

    Raw materials

    Assume sima hoe, zelkova, yellowfin tuna, maple, gemponashi, drill or material having materials which are equal to these.


  • Work scenery

    Process 1: Drying

    We stock materials such as beautiful cedar, hoe, yellowfin tuna of grain of wood to become materials from choice wood shop not ordinary lumber dealer. We saw up logs in thickness to use and put up the product around workshop and house of craftsman and dry.

    Process 2: Timber conversion

    We take tree to dimensions of all parts in fact while thinking so that grain of wood looks beautiful. Grain of wood is decided here. And we do plane cliff in objective thickness with board using criterion that is tool kettle measuring thickness of board called marking gauge (kebiki) evenly.

    Process 3: Pattern practice with a partner processing

    It is work to cut two pieces of boards with irregularities called "tenon" each. When positions of tenon are even slightly different, board is not engaged well. We reduce the side of board with plane and put line in the position that makes exact length and width, and puts cut. Only and we cut tenon with one. It is chance for Edo Sashimono dehamottomomuzukashiiku craftsman to show what he/she can do.

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    Process 4: karigatame, assembling

    We make board which we made pattern practice with a partner processing on and cross whether you are just engaged. We check whether there is not bad place of some coming together carefully. If check is completed, we assemble public performance. Thrust bond thinly and swat in ear shell more and fit in group side and we cannot swim a stroke more and nail.

    Process 5: Outside finish

    We finish the surface with plane while checking whether careful wound does not remain carefully at finger-tip. In addition, we give decoration processing to round off at the corner. We polish up the surface using plant called sandpaper and scouring rush smoothly afterwards. The last confirmation is decided by "the feel".

    Process 6: Installation of lacquering, metal fittings

    Finish is lacquering. We paint with lacquer and we dry all day long and repeat work painting with again many times carefully. We do not entrust master of lacquer (master) other than the very big thing. Lacquering is over and attaches metal fittings and is completion.

    Video is played when we click image


  • Close-up

    Edo Sashimono which conveys "the best" of Edo in now

    It which puts effort into invisible place "the best" of Edo. The skill to use no nail for makes delicate Yumi and is strong. Use from child, child for grandchild, great-grandchild from parent carefully from generation to generation, and want to inherit; quite no one article "armor-back held-flag." We asked cabinetmaker, Inoue who ascertained good material, beauty of grain of wood keenly about charm of Edo Sashimono.


    We entered nature and this world

    "We graduated from high school and went for service for one year, but inherited nature and this work afterwards. , three people are brother, but others perform ordinary office worker; as for that is; talking Inoue is the second generation. It seemed to be child whom it liked that play thing made with imminent wood. "Father is craftsman spirit of the truth. We look back saying we have not written bill or receipt. However, we seemed to learn relations with customer as craftsman and, "the finish was decided where you did it carefully" to from father. Therefore we never cut corners in no small thing.

    Supported tradition; relations of "the master" and "craftsman"

    Armor-back held-flag is basically made-to-order, too. There was support of people of business magnate called "the master" in background where Edo Sashimono developed once. Craftsman makes form to hear hope of the master. And "get nervous" with necessary material cost; oitadaku. "There are not the relations now. It is the current situation that craftsman holds stock." Can it not be said that the traditional skill and consciousness reform by consumers to ask for work that is good for craftsman to inherit quality are necessary?

    Many tools had a good use of

    Good thing has power to appeal to person

    As much as "we do it, we think that it is profound recently. We came to be able to see work of person not only armor-back held-flag." We are fuller and fuller of original will saying "we arrange as well as thing fixed using the skill of armor-back held-flag more and more and want to challenge new thing.". It seems to be just the tenth year now while Takeshi of son trains himself/herself as the third generation. "Oneself said impertinent thing around 30 generations, too. Son is the just time now. We must say with a thud once soon." It is Inoue who talks so, but the eyes are gentle forever.


    We were loved by samurai, merchant, Kabuki actor and opened flower in the Edo era

    "Kyo Sashimono has many tea service sets of Kuge habitual use, but supplies product is important as for samurai family, the Edo Sashimono of merchant culture." The history of Edo Sashimono dates back to the middle of Edo era approximately 400 years ago. The Shogunate called craftsman together from the whole country and we made Shokunincho of Kajicho, Daikumachi and planned the development of the manual industry. It is said that we are derived from carpenter specializing in building shrines and temples before long and are divided into cabinetmaker, engraver, and it became independent as "armor-back held-flag".

    As for the affinity called armor-back held-flag, "making using criterion" is said "to let board refer to board". It is characteristic of armor-back held-flag that let you cross the navel (Kirikomi of irregularities) without using gold nail and compete for board and board. We do not see tenon from the outside if we cross. "We make "slightly delicate" made to make look like "the best". In other words, slightly thin board is thin; point, and use stick. Even so, it is not fragile reason." Only the perfect skill to cut extremely minute tenon enables it. Concentrate the skill in invisible place, the world of "the best" of Edoite right breathes in now.



Industrial art object name Edo Sashimono
Phonetic symbol edosashimono
Classification of industrial art object Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork
Main product Chest, desk, stand, shelf, box thing, brazier, tea ceremony, traditional Japanese music article
Main production area Tokyo / Taito-ku, Arakawa-ku, Adachi-ku, Katsushika-ku, Koto-ku
The designation date May 14, 1997

Contact information

■local production associations

Edo Sashimono cooperative association
2-6-4, Suido, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Ma Maison 101, Kohinata
TEL: 03-3947-2797
FAX: 03-3947-2797

■Associated exhibit space, facility


For Kyo Sashimono that tea ceremony use for the Imperial Court developed, the feature of Edo Sashimono is that thing for for merchant for samurai family and Edo Kabuki actor developed. We make use in the beauty maximum of grain of wood of wood and avoid becoming too decorative and it is solid made and expresses the best of Edo with neat molding. Particularly, mulberry materials of Mikurajima are called "island mulberry" and receive evaluation when it is the best material.

While Kyoto sashimono was used to produce articles used by royal family and in tea ceremonies, Edo sashimono is unique in that it was used to produce articles used by samurai families, merchants and Edo kabuki actors. Edo sashimono expresses the essence of the Edo period in its lack of decoration, simple and rugged design, and exhibition of the natural beauty of the wood grain to the greatest degree. In particular, the mulberry trees of Mikurajima Island, known as “Island Mulberries,” are rated as the ultimate building material.

How to make

Board and bar stock are made without using nail by carving irregularities using chisel or knife, and being crowded, and putting together. In addition, we may take various masks for relationship of board side in handmade small ganna. We do not see in pattern practice with a partner from completed article, but it is solid at all and can continue using for dozens of years as we make full use of technique as invisible place from the outside and are built up.

Without using nails, chisels and knives are used to carve interlocking finger and dovetail joints into the timbers and boards, which are then joined together. Additionally, small hand-made wood planes are used to produce a variety of finishes and patterns along the edges of the boards. While the variety of building techniques cannot be seen from the outside, it is the exhaustive use of these techniques in places that cannot be seen that produces a finished product that can be used for decades.

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