Miyajima ZaikuMiyajima Woodwork

Carpenter, cabinetmaker were invited from Kamakura district, Kyoto region to build Shinto shrine and temple in the early period of Kamakura era. Thing descending from the technique is current Miyajima Zaiku.
There was abundant forest resource at prefectural border, and Miyajima Zaiku developed because Hatsukaichi district was distribution center of wood.

At the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185-1333), carpenters and cabinet makers were invited from Kyoto and Kamakura to build temples and shrines in the area, and Miyajima Zaiku as it is today, is a natural extension of the techniques that were used.
The development of this craft was fostered by the abundant supplies of timber found in the forests along the prefectural border, and supplied from the stocks of wood held in the area known as Hatsukaichi.

Including such simple items as shamoji or rice-serving paddles, a wide variety of household goods are being made alongside turnery and various types of carved goods. A number of finishes are, often to bring out the true qualities of the material, by expressing the natural coloring and grain of the wood.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    When look good with "turnery", thing by the next technique or technique.

    Bare wood structure uses potter's wheel and birokurogannao and, after areban kioshita, does breaking end, and dry.

    Bare wood finish do finish ban kioshi with potter's wheel, finish polishing using smoothing-plane and finishing scraper using rough smoothing-plane after rough finish ban kioshita with potter's wheel.

    When look good with "scooping out thing", thing by any of the following.

    When is to article made of tray product and stand, thing by the next technique or technique.

    After having done wild scooping out, bare wood structure does breaking end, and dry.

    After bare wood finish using finishing scraper and circle kisageo only for circle iron, and having done finish scooping out, do finish polishing.

    When is to ladle product, thing by the next technique or technique.

    We break, and timber conversion grinds piece of wood using machete or "zembandainokogiri" to make use of the cross grain in the surface of product.

    Bare wood structure grinds "of undressed lumber" and "wild clapper beater" using axe.

    Do finish polishing after we reduce the side, and and "boring" does "face" using finishing scraper, and and plane, vertical cut plane turn smoothing-plane and they finish "handle" using knife, curve stand plane and handle buttocks plane and sharpen "back" using plane, and they did bare wood finish.

    When engrave, thing by manual labor.

    When color, thing by "rust dyeing."

    When we paint, we grind lacquer wiper using unrefined varnish.

    Raw materials

    Assume bare wood (thing used for ladle product is excluded.) zelkova, mizumezakura, koematsu, hoe, maple, Japanese pagoda tree, wild cherry tree, chestnut, sen, tochi or oyster.

    Assume bare wood used for ladle product hoe, mizumezakura, Japanese pagoda tree, Juglans mandshurica, tochi, wild cherry tree, sen or hoo.

    Assume lacquer natural lacquer.


  • Work scenery

    eguributsusaiko (ladle)

    Process 1: Timber conversion

    On seeing the surface of tree performed open air storage of in the same way as turnery, we pick raw wood appropriate to kinds of lumber, use, dimensions of manufacture. We assume completed ladle and decide cutting point and mark the surface by hand saw. We cut using saw so that section becomes flat and, along this seal, make Kiguchi limit materials. We do sumi charge account on Kiguchi side that yield is good and grain of wood is valid and gets ladle. We put warinata on Kiguchi side who did sumi charge account and we break the small in wooden hammer and do. We sharpen unnecessary part and remove with axe afterwards.

    Process 2: Drying

    We dry shade at good place of ventilation. We let you naturally dry for approximately 1-2 years while being careful about crazing and mold.

    Process 3: Middle chestnut

    We sharpen the side with at first wide cut plane and do to fix these materials which we dried to work top, and to attach curve to part of face of ladle to serve meal in. By sled condition, we adjust sled of plane then. In the case of large ladle for decoration, we do not use work top and push forward work while using plane of big things and small things properly. We sharpen length with vertical cut plane this time and come to reduce the side next, and to take plane eyes of plane. We sharpen according to grain of wood using kosage to take plane eyes of the whole face, and to get smooth. Then, we sharpen part of back using rough-planed plane of back to round off along grain of wood and have orthopedic treatment. Work to sharpen part of this back to prescribed thickness, and to lose is required place of longtime experience and perception. In smoothing plane smoothing off the surface of back, we sharpen according to grain of wood. When part of face and back is completed, we get place of relationship fixed with mawashi plane in a circle.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 4: Pattern structure

    We advance to process of part of pattern successively. We cover work top with pattern buttocks and sharpen face part and the point of contact of department of pattern by knife and form for handle beginning part. We sharpen while being careful about face and balance with pattern then. We do wild cut in half curve plane to remove the corner next, and to add curve to the backside. We sharpen in circle curve plane so that cross direction does not have and fix afterwards so that it is in beautiful line and form that it is easy to grasp. We take pattern neck and corner of pattern and smooth off.

    Process 5: Abrasion

    We polish the whole ladle with sandpaper and completely get rid of plane eyes, cross direction. Four times of abrasion is repeated and wash in water to fail polishing dreg. We repeat polishing three times afterwards.

    Process 6: We wipe

    We wipe off with dry cloth after vegetable oil is applied to ladle which we have finished polishing with cloth and was put more on 1st and are completion.

    Potter's wheel work (turnery)

    Process 1: Timber conversion

    On seeing surface state of tree performed open air storage of, we choose raw wood appropriate to kinds of lumber, use, dimensions of manufacture and remove garbage which raw wood was accompanied by with scrubbing brush. We saw by saw (saw) in thickness depending on use, size of manufacture successively. We let you naturally dry in good place of shaded ventilation for 2-3 months afterwards to prevent change of color of tree.

    Process 2: Model

    We check knob or crack, skewness of board and describe Japanese yen in size that accepted product and saw by saw along drawn Japanese yen. Having grain of wood or not is given top priority to to make use of grain of wood then.

    Process 3: Wild; saw

    We make model of product. Add cut materials to potter's wheel in circle, and turn, and of ten kinds wild; saw in consideration of the shrinkage, skewness in drying slightly into thick pieces while sawing, and using plane (plane), and fix external form.

    Process 4: Stop being broken

    We paste paper to prevent breaking of Kiguchi side who is easy to dry than other aspects after areban kino or we dissolve low and paint by brush.

    Process 5: Drying

    We dry materials which we stop being broken and did more than one year.

    Process 6: We saw rough finish

    After having finished materials which we fitted in potter's wheel in approximate form, we perform breaking end again. We dry once again afterwards.

    Process 7: We finish and saw

    We saw lateral surface in 10-16 kinds of smoothing planes this time.

    Process 8: Finish polishing

    Using scouring rush or sandpaper, we polish. After being able to thrust water by brush, and having made water polishing, we polish using cloth. We repeat these 4-5 times of work.


  • Close-up

    Miyajima Zaiku which was cultivated in scenic spot, Miyajima of Aki

    It is familiar scene already we let high school from Hiroshima is Alps stand, and rice scoop tick by support scenery of High School Baseball, and to support. We were nervous about omens when we had meal (meal). Production center of this rice scoop = ladle is Miyajima of Aki, one of the Miyajima Zaiku.


    The skill of woodwork work which rooted in island, Miyajima of God

    Legendary island where one, Miyajima of the three most beautiful views in Japan worshiped marine guardian deity from the history on record past, and island itself was believed in as object of worship. The Emperor Suiko succeeds to the throne, and main shrine is built by this ground. Thereafter, for one thousand several hundred years, Miyajima moved forward with this Itsukushima Shrine. It is said that it originates on five colors of chopsticks, color toothpick in the origin of Miyajima Zaiku brought up by Miyajima with the old history. These were mascots in connection with ceremony of Shinto shrine.
    Originally, concerning island of God, farming and grasshopper were forbidden in Miyajima. On the other hand, land tax was exempted. Islanders seemed to have many people concerned with speculation including the making of firewood. On Shinto ritual and festival of Itsukushima Shrine, city stands, and Miyajima Zaiku which assumed rich tree produced as souvenir for person of many Kurushima in island materials has been brought about.

    Miyajima "Itsukushima Shinto Shrine where cinnabar red shines in beautifully in the sea of azure" of Aki

    Miyajima ladle which was created from biwa of wife of chief zen-priest

    *shin which became a priest in Miyajima, and became Buddhist priest devised ladle from model of biwa which (1789-1800) wife of chief zen-priest had in the Kansei era and initiated islanders into the skill. *shin gave story characteristics of wife of chief zen-priest on ladle to use for daily life and brought about this Miyajima ladle as new souvenir as mascot. Taking this occasion, woodwork work came to be carried out flourishingly, and potter's wheel and sculpture, technique of carving were conveyed. Tourists increased partly because the times changed, and railroad was opened when it was the Meiji era, and market was expanded, too. At the time of Sino-Japanese, Russo-Japanese War, a lot of soldiers who gathered for Ujina of Hiroshima from the whole country visited Miyajima and bought ladle and Miyajima Zaiku of this mascot as souvenir with prayer of the safety, and the name of Miyajima Zaiku came to be known to whole country each place in this way. The country came to be exported to foreign countries from the start, and Miyajima Zaiku would be used habitually widely.

    Miyajima ladle "has various ladles to use"

    Miyajima Zaiku which we made use of characteristic of tree in

    In Miyajima Zaiku, there are "deer pithecanthropus form" and simple thing such as "grilled Miyajima" that monkey which got on back of deer "eguributsu (of chestnut) work" handcrafting square trays which there is not "potter's wheel work" which turns wood carving sculpture and potter's wheel put for tray and cake bowl said to be "Miyajima carving" other than this ladle, and makes tray or cake bowl, saucer for a teacup with potter's wheel quietly is very lovely. The feature is that we make use of characteristics such as tree original cortex or grain of wood all in woodwork work. In turnery and eguributsu of potter's wheel work, it is in particular that besides it is had top priority in anything to make use of grain of wood. In addition, with change of lifestyle, we always challenge new design. We work on technical improvement or development of new product positively while making use of tradition and characteristic of Miyajima Zaiku and hold exhibition.

    Potter's wheel work "product of potter's wheel work which we made use of grain of wood" in

    The most important one is made with knife

    Takahashi of potter's wheel worker begins since 15 years old; and this way 55. It is called the making of knife in fact to mind. "Handling of knife is difference of mastery of skills. We come to break off when we run what is not cut by force. When knife does not form by oneself. When we used around ten kinds of blades and just began to make one thing, we seemed to have predecessors in the family line make, but came to make knife which it was easy to use in spite of oneself in total soon. So that there seemed to be never what was praised directly during the lifetime by predecessors in the family line after all, but personality that is warm from Takahashi smiling in remembrance of dead father oozes out when we seemed to be proud of son to mother in secret.

    "Careful work that we use knife properly"

    It is climbed role, hobby for the making of work

    "Concentration is necessary for sawing that we make the knife, and making thing. We are irritated and take, and one of potato is not made." We climb hobby for a change in such a case. Nature and feeling relax when we walk the mountains of Miyajima where nature with oldness is left. When "feeling is unhurried, good thing is made. What's called tree feels at ease, of warmth there is. If oneself making it does not have such a thing either, it reaches person having you use." Smile overflows Takahashi to tell that we were glad at all of what was praised before by a certain person saying "warmth is in work of Takahashi.". "We are always impressed by beauty of nature when we climb mountain. We can make use of it in the making of work." Eyes talking about charm of mountain right shine like boy. It will be this origin where it is flexible, and sharp sensitivity continues making beautiful potter's wheel work.

    Called "hiking as for the change" Takahashi

    Craftsman profile

    Momotaro Takahashi

    Master of Traditional Crafts, Momotaro Takahashi. We have begun to learn turnery about father since the age of 15 years old. Great veteran of this way 55


    Selection of raw materials influencing errand every day

    Tree of raw materials used for Miyajima Zaiku well has mulberry (eat), zelkova, Japanese pagoda tree, horse chestnut (tochi), cherry tree. Grain of wood is beautiful, and quality of wood is correct firmly and has all characteristic to be superior in the durability. Only as for the thing that we have you use all the woodwork products of Miyajima Zaiku in everyday life, and the good point can realize. Therefore, the quality of raw materials greatly influences the feel. Eyes of craftsman examining tree becoming raw materials closely seriously. We have ever processed tree growing in local Miyajima, but tree crossing from whole country each place or the sea now is not rare. But materials may not change craftsman ship passed to work craftsman to change here and there either.

    • Large ladle "scoops out large ladle for decoration"

    • "We make use of characteristic of tree and carve" Miyajima carving



Industrial art object name Miyajima Zaiku
Phonetic symbol miyajimazaiku
Classification of industrial art object Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork
Main product Rice scoop, turnery, eguributsusaiko (kurimonozaiku), sculpture
Main production area Hiroshima / Hatsukaichi-shi
The designation date November 1, 1982

Contact information

■local production associations

Miyajima Zaiku cooperative association
1165-9, Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima
Miyajima Kyoto Museum of Traditional Industry
TEL: 0829-44-1758
FAX: 0829-44-1758

■Associated exhibit space, facility


As for the Miyajima Zaiku, turnery, eguributsusaiko, sculpture and a lot of things used for everyday life widely are made including rice scoop production. A lot of bare wood finish makes use of tree original characteristic, and product is product which kept color and the feel of grain of wood brought up naturally alive enough.

Miyajima zaiku consists of many products used in a wide range of everyday activities, including rice scoops, objects made at the turning table, kurimono (hollowed out objects) and sculptures. Most products consist of a wooden base to which various finishings are applied that fully showcase the full natural flavor of wood, highlighting characteristics like its grain, color and texture.

How to make

It is made with timber conversion, bare wood, and finish, process of decoration are basics. We perform decoration by lacquer wiping using Miyajima carving and natural lacquer, rust (rust) dyeing.

The basic stages include wood gathering, preparation of a wooden base, finishing and decorating. Decorations include Miyajima-bori carvings, lacquer-wiping (urushifuki) using natural lacquer and rust-staining (sabi irosome).

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