Gifu ChochinGifu Lanterns

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.
It is said that lanterns with characteristic like the present considerably spread in the early 19th century. We are used for tray use and enjoying the cool breeze widely.

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.

Intricately made and with an inherent purity of form, the paper or silk shades of the lanterns are decorated with sophisticated and beautifully colorful pictures of flowers, birds, scenery and people. The bamboo strips, which make up the frame, are extremely fine and the paper is very thin. The lanterns are either round or egg shaped. Even today, Obon lanterns are one of the main types of lanterns made along with others used at the Tanabata summer festival. The noryo lanterns are those with which to enjoy the coolness to a hot, humid summer evening, and still others are for decorative purposes.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    When you encounter ground paper processing and dough processing, do "dosa pull" and "colour of the ground pull". But thing of white silk garment do not do "colour of the ground pull".

    When do decoration of ground paper or dough, thing by "imprinting" or painting. In this case, painting is thing by freehand drawing.

    When encounter processing of burning place of a fireplace, "make model" "higo winding," is thing by "stick" "joint limit" and "die cutting".

    When we encounter processing of bare wood, "doorstepping" do "we hit mouth" "chamfering".

    Raw materials

    Ground paper assumes Washi Paper, and assume dough silk fabrics.

    Assume material of bone of lantern common Japanese bamboo or black bamboo.

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

  • Work scenery

    Process of manufacture of Gifu Chochin greatly separates and is decoration of Washi Paper (or silk), production of burning place of a fireplace (hibukuro), processing of bare wood (pheasant), four of finish. There are two ways of "painting" that freehand drawing does with picture after having stuck plain paper (or silk) when decoration of Washi Paper (or silk) raises after "we print, and (we stencil) including" did painting using paper pattern.
    Also, "woodworker" paints with bare wood structure (muzzle, stand of oriental lamp), and, in Gifu Chochin, as for decoration of Washi Paper that is the production of paper with colored figures, as for the production of burning place of a fireplace, as for the painting, as for the processing, as for the lacquer work charge account, it is divided the work with "Master lacquer work" "lacquerer" "illustrator" "master of rubbing dye into cloth" (we stencil and do) "choshi" (we make stitch) by each specialty.

    Process 1: dosa pull

    We paint Washi Paper with liquid which we dissolve and add alum to Tanikawa and made, and, in addition, we print, and it includes, and depending color nonijio prevents though we provide luster tokoshio on paper. Furthermore, we say "colour of the ground pull" and paint paper with thin colour of the ground.

    Process 2: We print and are crowded

    After having performed the version printing, we put paper pattern and print color and are crowded with xylograph which we carved along outline of pattern. Pattern is thing carved based on the original picture created by Japanese painter. As three-dimensional impression does not appear again without being able to grind part next to each other of delicate pattern at a time, we print on how many times and divide. We put nearly 100 times of paper patterns depending on pattern and print and are put up. Here is work of master of rubbing dye into cloth.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 3: The making of making of muzzle, hand board

    Specialized craftsman called woodworker makes hand board hanging ring and Imperial Palace lantern which there is up and down of lantern, leg of Ouchi oriental lamp. Upper ring (muzzle to use for kamiwa, the top) becomes double unlike general lantern in Gifu Chochin. We let you compete for thin board of hinoki and cedar which this delicately changes thickness and sharpened and made, and can cover burning place of a fireplace and adhesion side of muzzle when it was completed by this dual structure.

    Process 4: Decoration

    To muzzle and hand board, leg, we make decoration using technique such as heaping up or lacquer work. We do this decoration by each specialized craftsman.

    Process 5: Model composing type, higo winding of lantern

    We assemble dildo of lantern and make model. It winds the bamboo rib (higo), and, along groove chopped to this dildo, it makes model of lantern, but it is work to need mastery of skills that wind up thickness only thin bamboo higo of 0.6-0.7 millimeters with equal strength. When higo disappeared on the way, we tie higo and higo with thread. higo is thin and is high-quality article so that there is much number of the eyes of winding.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 6: Pasting

    We control growth of lantern and hang thread in higo to prevent damage of paper. Thread is hung along dildo exactly and attaches paste to higo for one piece between thread and threads and puts Washi Paper. Paper swells every 1 ken.

    Process 7: Joint limit

    We cut part extra in total with razor to thread over higo quickly and drop whenever we put one piece of paper. There is only approximately 1 millimeter joint (overlap width) of paper then. We minimize overlap width to can do irregularity to be lighted if heap of paper and paper is big.

    Process 8: Die cutting of lantern

    We pull out dildo of lantern which we spend time slowly and dried one by one. We fold while putting fold with spatula carefully, and process of tension is completion.

    Process 9: Painting and finish

    When we describe painting in lantern which we put with plain paper not paper with colored figures including woodcut print later, we perform "painting" at this stage. When we crawl in paper with colored figures including woodcut print, supplementary writing is carried out as needed. Finally we attach accessories such as muzzle, hand board, bunch and are completion.


  • Close-up

    The minute beauty that we continued giving to the Shogunate, the imperial family

    Gifu Chochin is told that the name came to be known after lantern maker ten storehouse of Gifu gives to Tokugawa shogunate government lantern in the age of an emperor year (1751-1763). Gifu Chochin was made with division of labor of several specialists, but asked "choshi" (we make stitch) which made body portion of lantern this time Akio Suzumura about story.


    With carefree feeling in the world of Gifu Chochin

    Technical improvement was repeated after the reason why lantern came to be made in the Mino district was that Mino Washi strong thinly and high quality bamboo were rich, and the name came to be known, and precise elegant Gifu Chochin like the present was completed. We have the history that hangs Gifu Chochin in Meiji, the Taisho era, the Showa era from the Edo era, and lasts for two hundred years, and has been given to the Shogunate, the imperial family. However, there is not such an overambitiousness at all, and it is said that we were carefree when Suzumura entered this world. When we came for visit to company on graduating from junior high school, and finding a job, we thought that we turned and, on seeing process of manufacture of lantern, seemed to enter oneself who liked arts and crafts and art and "never thought that we protected tradition with the old history." Still when three months passed, generally we understood the work as choshi, and work became interesting.

    Suzumura who puts paper of lantern. We put eight pieces of paper every 1 ken

    Careful work on parade

    Suzumura says that it is saying "we were suitable for oneself.". Work of choshi makes shoe tree and surrounds bamboo higo and puts paper and we dry and just fold, but are very small work so that it is revealed immediately if we have you actually see lantern. Specialized craftsman makes higo in higo, but thickness has only 0.6-0.7 millimeters. We wind up in a spiral along groove where this higo was chopped to shoe tree finely, but bamboo higo seems unlike wire, and thickness is delicately different, too. It is difficult to surround this with the same pulling. The length of bamboo higo is approximately 4 meters, but must join this higo 20 times - 25 times to make lantern of diameter one shaku. This work to tie up with thread finely, and to join takes effort. In addition, we cut extra place with razor along thread which linked upper farthingale and lower farthingale after having put paper. 1 millimeter slight in the overlap width of paper next to each other of this time. It is surprising delicacy as we think that we may put round lantern with one piece of paper. "It was tough until we learned." Suzumura says casually, but is work to suffer from in trouble time when there are only not more than 5-6 per day.

    We cut extra paper in conformity to thread which we put along shoe tree

    As for the Gifu Chochin, it is accumulated technique of each specialist job

    White large chrysanthemum and yellow pocket paper were described in paper which Suzumura of choshi put beforehand, but it is said that craftsman making a specialty of called "Master rubbing dye into cloth" (we stencil and do) prints picture on this using paper pattern and was crowded. Each petal, one one of the leaves delicately print, and they are divided when we see well. It is said that we sometimes repeat nearly 100 times types to show three-dimensional impression again to repeat several colors. In addition, there is method painting to lantern which we put plain paper and made later, but this is work of "Master painting" (we obtain and make reckoning). Several specialists are concerned with process of manufacture of Gifu Chochin. As for making hand board of muzzle and Imperial Palace lantern, stand of oriental lamp, as for painting, lacquerer (we paint and do), lacquer work (we can wind up) are conditions such as Master lacquer work for woodworker (we do pheasant), decoration of the bare wood. When "thing which each specialist made with feeling becomes one, will charm of Gifu Chochin be thing? Thing that technique is good for each."

    Gifu Chochin which was raised. Craftsmanship of 1 millimeter slight in the overlap width of paper and paper

    Charm of minute autumn flowers

    It is said that Suzumura likes delicate pattern of Gifu Chochin. When, as for the pattern described in Gifu Chochin, lantern has been ever employed as lighting equipment; cormorant fishing of flowers and birds hills and rivers and Gifu. Autumn flowers are often drawn in now that is often spent for tray and enjoying the cool breeze. Even if pattern changes, the minute beauty does not change. "We think that there is role introducing technique that we inherited from senior to us into. We want to tell." At first, Suzumura who entered this world said clearly without thinking about tradition or the old history really.

    Large and small lanterns are made in factory

    Craftsman profile

    Akio Suzumura (Suzumura autumn)

    It was born in 1950 (Showa 25).
    After the graduation from junior high school, we entered Ozeki who prepared Gifu Chochin more than 100 years from the early period of Meiji and thereafter made large and small lanterns as choshi (we make stitch) for 30 several years.


    "Light" which attracted Isamu Noguchi


    • Stands light of "AKARI" of Ozeki who deals with production, sale consistently since Isamu came for visit in 1951 series

    • We have father of Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) Japanese and American mother

    • Pendant light matches space of yo strangely in space of the sum



Industrial art object name Gifu Chochin
Phonetic symbol Gifu lantern
Classification of industrial art object Other Crafts
Main product Lantern, Ouchi oriental lamp (oriental lamp)
Main production area Gifu / Gifu-shi, Yamagata-shi, Mizuho-shi, Ginan-cho, Hashima-gun, Yanaizu-machi
The designation date April 5, 1995

Contact information

■local production associations

Gifu Chochin cooperative association
1-18, Ogumacho, Gifu-shi, Gifu
TEL: 058-263-0111
FAX: 058-262-0058

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Form is neat and clean, and work is precise, and beautiful coloring picture is put for burning place of a fireplace with beauty. Thin strip of bamboo becoming bone is thin, and paper is extremely thin, and pictures such as flowers and birds, scenery, person are described. Form is doing sphere or egg type.

The shape is tidy and trim, and the craftsmanship is exquisite. The fire box of the lanterns are decorated with elegant and beautiful watercolors. The frame is made of delicate bamboo strips, and the paper is extremely thin. Painted designs feature flowers and birds, landscapes, people, and more. They are made either round or egg-shaped.

How to make

At first we assemble dildo of lantern and wind up thin strip of bamboo in a spiral along groove chopped in model. We starch the rib made with thin strip of bamboo next and put Washi Paper or silk and cut part not to need. After we stencil or painting by drawing, and dying if lantern dries, and taking, and having incorporated ring of top and bottom, we attach accessories and are completed.

First, the form for the lantern is assembled, and the bamboo strips are wrapped in a spiral pattern following grooves in the form. Next, glue is applied to the bamboo strips, and washi paper or silk is pasted on, and the excess is trimmed off. Pictures are painted on either with a stencil or freehand, and when the lantern dries, it is removed from the form, and rings are attached to the top and bottom, then fittings are attached and the lantern is complete.

Voice from production center

Gifu Chochin that craftsmen who raised technique by being divided into specialized labors more make use of the subject matter and make gives heart of people moisture and ease by the beauty of elegant tradition when we turned on sense of the seasons and light.