Edo KirikoEdo Cut Glass

It is said to be opening that person called Hisashi Kagaya soldier of the Imperial Guard who ran vidro shop in large Temmacho of Edo in 1834 (Tenpo 5) put sculpture for the surface of glass mimicking cut glass made in the U.K.
Anecdote that admired wonderful cut glass of glass bottle which Commodore Perry who visited a shore with Kurofune by the late Tokugawa period was given to by Kagaya is conveyed.
In the Meiji era, cut and sculpture technique of Western ceremony were introduced by technical guidance by Briton. It is said that most of technique of precise cut to the present age began at this time. In the Edo era, cut glass was given transparent glass, but "we cover with color" (be and help put on), and product using glass becomes mainstream now.

It is said that the origins of Edo Kiriko date back to 1834 when a Kagaya Kyubei, who was working in a small glass works in Edo (Tokyo), copied a piece of English cut glass. It also seems that Commodore Matthew Perry, who arrived in Japan toward the end of the Edo Period (1600-1868), was very surprised when he was presented with a splendid piece of Kagaya's cut glass.
Subsequently various Western methods of cutting and sculpting glass were introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries under instruction from experts from England. In fact, many of the fine glass cutting techniques introduced at that time are still in use to this day.

Although during the Edo period clear glass was cut, these days it is colored or cased cut glass which appeals more to the buying public and makes up the bulk of production. Inevitably the cut lines and patterns are more distinct and the contrast between the clear and colored surfaces is one of the distinctive features of this glassware, which includes such things as general items of tableware, items for drinking sakE, flower vases, decorative glass and stationary items.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Perform "compute" to design exactly.

    Using tool which is equal to iron construction disk, whetstone or these as for "we take the third" and "take stone" "wild woodcut print", it is all thing by manual labor.

    You perform abrasion using tool which is equal to tree car, felt board, hair brush board or these by hand, and provide luster.

    Cut being clear deeply, and being correct, and the finish becoming clear.

    Raw materials

    Assume dough to use molding glass (crystal glass or soda-lime glass).

  • Work scenery

    "Cut glass" means technique to cut the surface of glass using disk of metal and whetstone. Glass industrial art object which makes full use of technique of this cut glass, and was created is Edo Kiriko. In Edo Kiriko, in the case of cut, we may not draw sketch. Craftsman cuts and brings down minute tradition design that it may be said with the characteristic only with the help of slight line and point that we added to glass. Edo Kiriko is created by expert eyes and hand. In Edo Kiriko, there is product called "color coating" (be and help put on) using glass which coated film of stained glass on product called "space" (is not crowded) using transparent glass and the surface of transparent glass to dough. Here, we introduce Edo Kiriko nodekirumadeogo of "we cover with color" (we be and help put on).

    Process 1: We calculate, and the sumi is dated


    Decide how distribute design into the surface of glass, and it is indication of place to pour design into; mark. We make seal in red ocher using bamboo stick and writing brush.

    It is shallow thin and, with the help of seal which we made, sharpens standard of design including diagonal line and line where it is in whetstone.

    "We calculate" these a series of processes or it is said, "the sumi is dated".

    Process 2: Wild woodcut print, the third credit


    It is high-speed and exposes iron disk called turning "board" (kanaban) to shallow ditch which we attached on sumi and we sharpen groove and open.
    It is particle of sand which it put on the surface of gold board to scrape off glass then. We soak with water enough beforehand and drain sand which became slow pasty on the board and we expose glass there and process.
    Sand used here is called "emery powder" (we do not come luxurious), and there is from "first sand" to "the third sand" by size of particle of sand, and the most coarse "first sand" is used for the first processing. Processing using "first sand" is called "wild woodcut print".

    ●Wild woodcut print
    We are finished and keep aspect and line to sharpen by "wild woodcut print" to around three-fourths planned width and depth to be easy to make a fine adjustment by other processing.
    Designs of chrysanthemum appearing to clear line and movie called "outer rib" chopped to borders of design are created by "wild woodcut print".


    Video is played when we click image

    ●The third credit
    With the help of ditch which we attached by "wild woodcut print", we give smaller processing. The point of work is the same as "wild woodcut print", but it is small "the third sand" of grain that use here.
    From different boards such as size or thickness, we choose appropriate thing and, as well as sand, use properly to size of design and thing to process. "Hang this process the third"; toiimasu.

    Process 3: Stone hook


    We fix "wild woodcut print" and form that it is likely that "we take the third" and have begun to sharpen niyotte and polish processing side smoothly. These work is carried out using disk made by whetstone. We begin to reduce small design not gold board at this stage using disk of whetstone.
    "We hang stone" collectively, and to causes these processes.
    "We hang stone" polishes for the last process of cut carefully not to leave sand eyes which we did with a rattling sound.

    Process 4: Polishing


    After the processing, we improve appearance becoming in an opaque state and let you regain glass original transparent brightness.
    We put the surface of cut glass which we added water and polishing powder to on place where we turned disk for polishing and polish.
    To disk for polishing, there are various things including felt board and hair brush board including tree of paulownia and willow board which we made with board. We use these disks properly in conformity to product.
    If polishing is not good even if cut is very good, cut glass does not become more attractive.
    "Polishing" is important process to draw charm of cut glass enough.

    It becomes completion when we finish "polishing".


  • Close-up

    Skill - Edo Kiriko ... of person brightening glass

    Cut glass which innumerable small masks let you reflect light, and shines, the beauty cannot help still attracting heart of people in old days. It is about the Edo era that cut glass came to be made in Japan. The technique was called "cut glass", and thereafter many perfect gems have been made. It is got close as glass industrial art object named "Edo Kiriko", and cut glass which was arranged in that in the Edo era is inherited to date. We visited one Yasunori Kimura of creator of Edo Kiriko in studio.


    With disk and water and electric bulb

    Studio is felt to be only slightly gloomy to eyes tame in outside brightness. Kimura sat at work top put by back window. Sound of motor turning disk and sound to spread of water sound low. Light of incandescent electric lamp of work top lighted up Kimura who hit disk which turned with glass like spotlight. When Kimura noticed us, we stopped hand of work and met.
    It is said that it is place that polished the surface of glass some time ago. We let disk made of stones rotate at high peed with motor for abrasion and employ. We always get the surface wet with water, and there is not kana on this occasion if we cut. Sound of water was sound to sprinkle water to disk.

    Naked bulb is intended to light up part to process intensively. When we produced water-clear cut glass, we used 60w, but it is said that we come to produce cut glass of "we cover with color" (we be and help put on) and changed to 100w.
    Cut glass reduces appearance of material and gives processing. State of design that disk created told Kimura then to see over glass from the other side of aspect that we reduced when enough brightness was necessary.

    Invisible trouble, the invisible skill

    To wooden box put besides work top, glasses processing are arranged. We asked Kimura and had you show one. By simple design that straight line is impressive, small circle accentuates. It is said that it is product which reproduced old design by request from wholesale dealer.
    "We think that this is prewar design. It is kind of "flagging down pattern". It became too much expensive and has become outdated all too soon to be difficult, and to need a lot of looking after"
    Cut glass of "color coating" does thing which covered the whole surface of transparent glass place with stained glass into a film form with material. Cut creates designs with film of this color.
    In the case of this glass, as for color place and sight glass four pairs, there is not pattern to a lot of sight glasses and sight glass with the sixth place. Therefore you must sharpen glass evenly uniformly.
    We say handle that "flagging down pattern" prepares design horizontally at a certain constant position and keeps. It is just said that certain technique is necessary to prepare. By this design, horizontal change enters pattern at several centimeters, entrance at several centimeters from bottom. This is called "both coup de graces".
    At a glance there being technique that it is reliable that it is seen in pattern that is simple, and seems to be easy beautifully and careful processing. "The best of Edo" breathes for work to let trouble and the skill work in invisible place.

    Glass to transform itself into splendidly

    "It was a while ago place that hung stone at bottom." Kimura shows glass in wooden box.
    As for the cut glass, minute roughness occurs on processing side to sharpen glass using sand called emery powder and industrial diamond fine particles first. We play whetstone and do such a roughness smoothly. We have orthopedic treatment in whetstone, and not only it but also design that we reduced with sand and diamond is finished.
    In Edo Kiriko, there is tradition design to be comprised of small line and small aspect. It is said that craftsmen chop aestheometry of these millimeters units to glass without the chart below using whetstone.
    We just see thing which finished of processing by whetstone neatly enough. However, true charm of cut glass is drawn by the last finish.
    When "more luster appeared when we polished," Kimura said so, he/she took finished product out of the box which had been packed expressly.
    Sight glass is transparent without a piece of cloudy weather smoothly, and light dances in end-to-end of cut. Beauty that could never arrive at was over there as simple glass.

    Balance of brightness and warmth

    Brightness of cut glass is decided at depth and angle of groove of cut. Angle to expose sharpness and material of edge of disk that it reduces the subject matter to decide condition of cut to disk. It is said that we shine light cut gorgeously so that edge of disk is acute angle.
    "I am unreasonable, and edge does not use disk of acute angle. When we held in hand even if light that the finish is how much is beautiful, feel like seeming to somewhat have a pain, and Kimura talks.
    Edo Kiriko including tableware, bottle and cup, Writing tools and Abacus has been brought up as thing which touched hand. Therefore not only beauty but also the feel is valued. The condition is one of the skill of craftsman, too.
    The reason why warmth is felt for brightness of Edo Kiriko may be that the attention of such a craftsman is put.

    Craftsman profile

    Yasunori Kimura (come irregularity Yasunori)

    Tokyo cut glass industry cooperative association vice-director

    After the graduation from high school, we study under Yoshio Kimura of father. The third generation of this way 32 years.
    Bunzo Kimura that the first generation is uncle of Yoshio.
    We win gurasuueataimusu company prize for encouragement in 2000.


    Design of cut glass

    Edo Kiriko has design inherited from the Edo era to the present age. From plant including chrysanthemum and family crest of a hemp leaf to reticulate pattern, life article of Edo such as lattice, various subjects are made design skillfully. Design loved by people of Edo is over time and still colors cut glass.
    Craftsman puts these designs together and creates patterns only by oneself. As preference of design of craftsman is reflected in pattern, it is said that it is whose work in circle or has an approximate idea if we see design using.
    ●kikuhan gi
    ●Family crest of a hemp leaf
    ●Reticulate pattern
    ●Chasing with a pattern of thick millet grains (cry)



Industrial art object name Edo Kiriko
Phonetic symbol edokiriko
Classification of industrial art object Other Crafts
Main product Tableware, bottle and cup, vase, dining table article, ornament, accessories, Writing tools and Abacus, everyday life article
Main production area Tokyo / Koto-ku, Sumida-ku, Edogawa-ku, Katsushika-ku, Ota-ku, Chiba / Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-shi, Funabashi-shi Saitama / Tokorozawa-shi, Soka-shi, Hanno-shi Kanagawa / Kawasaki-shi Ibaraki / Ryugasaki City
The designation date January 30, 2002

Contact information

■local production associations

Edo Kiriko cooperative association
4-18-10, Kameido, Koutou-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-3681-0961
FAX: 03-3681-1422

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Cut glass is technique to cut and bring down various designs using metal disk or whetstone on the surface of glass. Edo Kiriko is made by this technique. Design that graphically designed life tool of Edo including plants such as chrysanthemum or family crest of a hemp leaf and reticulate pattern, lattice is inherited as traditional design. Patterns of Edo Kiriko are created in combination to devise them. Product called "space" that put cut for transparent glass place was mainstream once, but in late years product of "color coating" (be and help put on) that cut glass which poured film of stained glass over the surface of transparent glass place becomes mainstream. Cut which worked of accent that part of color place and comparison of sight glass became clear as for the product of "color coating" is characteristic.

Kiriko is the traditional art of cutting a multitude of decorative patterns into the surface of glass using tools such as metal discs and grindstones, and is the method used to produce Edo Kiriko. Items of daily life in Edo, such as chrysanthemum and cannabis leaves, basket patterns and geometric shapes form the basis of traditionally used patterns. The unique style of Edo Kiriko is born from the incredible skill used to combine the variety of patterns into a finished piece. Originally cutting shapes into clear glass, known as the Suki or “see through” style was popular.
Recently, however, applying a film of colored glass on top of clear glass and then cutting, known as the Irokise or “color covering” style has become the mainstream. The key characteristic of Irokise pieces is the vivid contrast between colored and clear areas of glass created by the decorative cuttings.

How to make

Production process is greatly divided into four. Line becoming standard of cut on the surface of glass and "wild woodcut print" (drag fault) "to calculate, and to sharpen basics that it is likely on the surface with metal disk sumi charge account" and groove where it is to allocate point, and to mark finish design using disk of whetstone; "hang stone", and is 4 processes of "polishing" to give aspect that sharpened luster. We divide "wild woodcut print" into 2-3 phases and, depending on product, may perform. In addition, we get design that "we hang stone" and reduced by deha, "wild woodcut print" fixed and finish and begin to sharpen very small design in whetstone. In Edo Kiriko, sketch of design to reduce may not be pulled on glass surface. Traditional designs are created by experienced eyes and the expert skill.

The process of making Edo Kiriko is divided into four main steps. In the first step, “Waridashi, Sumitsuke”, the surface of the glass is marked with lines and dots in a process known as so the artisan can see where to carve. In the second step, “Arazuri”, a metal disk is used to make the initial cuts of the design.
For the third step, “Ishikake”, a whetstone is used to complete the design. After all cutting is complete, for the final step, “Migaki”, the glass is polished to a brilliant finish. Depending on the design, sometimes the Arazuri step needs to be divided into two or three stages. Additionally, in addition to completing the cuts started in Arazuri, the whetstone is used in the Ishikake step to etch delicate patterns without any initial cuts. In Edo Kiriko, all of these steps need to be completed without the aid of any rough sketch on the surface of the glass. Only the well-trained eye and the experienced hand of a master artisan of many years can bring these traditional and beautiful patterns to fruition.

Voice from production center

In Tokyo cut glass industry cooperative association, we add showroom to association office. In showroom, we always display and sell Edo Kiriko of approximately 200 points of association originals. It is space that can have you feel brightness of Edo Kiriko changing expression in trick of the light in the real thing. Please drop in.