Introduction to our Traditional Crafts(2)

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Traditional Crafts

“Edo-Shikki” (lacquer ware)
History and Special Characteristics Edo-Shikki is a type of lacquer ware used in the Edo area, and its history is said to have started when Ieyasu Tokugawa invited a lacquer ware artisan from Kyoto. Ieyasu Tokugawa was a shogun (a general) who moved to the Edo castle in 1590. He served for the shogunate (Japan’s at-the-time-government) from 1603 to 1605. Lacquer ware gradually attracted popularity among ordinary people, and by the early 18th century, shikki was used in people’s everyday life. Because they are tough and good for practical use, Edo-shikki are often used at soba restaurants, or Japanese noodle restaurants.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Chuo Ward, Adachi Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo-to Shikki Shoukougyou Kyoudou Kumiai
Address c/o Tamagawa Shikki Co., Ltd, 2-15 Kanda-tsukasamachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0048
Phone Number 03-3293-2501
“Bekkō” (tortoiseshell)
History and Special Characteristics bekkō, or tortoiseshell, has enjoyed great popularity for a long time. A variety of techniques were passed along during the Edo period (1600-1867), and complex-formed bekkō were made. In Tokyo, some bekkō products are applied gold and silver lacquers, engraved, and applied with ivory. Tortoiseshell are used for glass frames as well.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Bunkyo Ward, Taito Ward, Sumida Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Bekko Handicraft Industry Association
Address Room 408, Tokyo Sosho Kaikan, 2-27-7 Higashinihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0004
Phone Number 03-5607-0888
Production Area Associations Tokyo Bekko Crafts Industry Association
Address 3-22-8 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001
Phone Number 03-3828-9870
Production Area Associations Higashi-Nihon Bekko Industrial Association
Address Room 408, Tokyo Sosho Kaikan, 2-27-7 Higashinihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0004
Phone Number 03-5607-0888
Production Area Associations Tokyo Soshohin Cooperative Association Section 4
Address 3-21-2 Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0053
Phone Number 03-3862-4741
“Hake” (brushes used for screen paintings and dyeing)
History and Special Characteristics These brushes were referred to as “Edo Hake” in books from the mid-Edo period (1700s). Seven different types of brushes were introduced, including those for screen painters and dyeing. These brushes have played an important role in Japanese culture.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Sumida Ward, Shinjuku Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Hake Kougyou Kyoudou Kumiai
Address Tokyo Burashi Kaikan 2-2-14 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0001
Phone Number 03-3622-5304
“Butsudan” (a Buddhist altar)
History and Special Characteristics Butsudan is a Buddhist altar, and joiners first produced it during the Genroku period (1688-1703). Genroku period is when Buddhism prospered. Since 1840, lumber of the tropic region such as rose wood, ebony wood, and sandalwood, has been used for production. Butsudan’s designs are rather plain and simple.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Arakawa Ward, Adachi Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Karaki Butsudan Kougyou Kyoudou Kumiai
Address 1F Copo Sumire, 4-9-32 Ayase, Adachi-ku, Tokyo 120-0005
Phone Number 03-3620-1201
Production Area Associations Tokyo Religious Products Dealers Association
Address 7-14-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Phone Number 03-3542-5771
“Tsumami-kanzashi” (ornamental hairpins)
History and Special Characteristics Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hairpins, and the word, "tsumami" means "to pinch." Edo’s tsumami-kanzashi has pieces of silk cut into shapes of birds and flowers to make the hairpins look decorative. Tsumami-kanzashi originated in Japan’s west region during the Edo period (1600-1867), and it soon arrived to the Edo area. Today, Tokyo is the major producing district. These women’s ornamental hairpins are used for the New Year’s, Coming-of-the-Age ceremony, “Shichi-Go-San,” (a festival for children of ages three, five, and seven), and at dancing parties.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Arakawa Ward, Sumida Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo hair ornament manufacturing cooperative society
Address Kojima Art Plaza 2-9-10, Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0056
Phone Number 03-3861-0522
Yanagita 090-1114-7115
“Wagaku” (Japanese picture frames)
History and Special Characteristics Picture frames that were developed in Japan are called “wagaku.” From the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912), Western-style picture frames started being used. Today, Japan’s traditional lacquer technique is applied, and picture frames are made to fit the customers’ needs.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Toshima Ward, Arakawa Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Gakubuchi Kougyou Kyoudou Kumiai
Address c/o Mr. Tajima, Gakubuchi Kobo, 4-19-2 Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0053
Phone Number 03-3851-9432
“Zōge” (ivory)
History and Special Characteristics Ivory is called “Zōge” in Japanese, and it is made from elephant’s fore-tooth. During the Nara period (710-794), ivory carving techniques were introduced from China, and the techniques were applied to “netsuke” during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600). A large number of people are deeply fond of ivory for its smooth texture, gorgeous luster, and half transparent milky white color. It also has adequate hardness for craftsmanship.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Bunkyo Ward, Sumida Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Zoge Bijutsu Kougei Kyoudou Kumiai
http://www.tokyo-ivory.or.jp/englishversion/( External link )
Address 3-26-3 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0035
Phone Number 03-3841-2533
"Sashimono” (custom-ordered furniture and cabinetry)
History and Special Characteristics Sashimono are custom-made furniture and cabinetry that are made without the use of nails. As people’s lives became civilized during the Genroku period (1688-1703), the profession of joiners emerged. Samurai and merchants mostly used Sashimono.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Arakawa Ward, Koto Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Edo Sashimono Cooperative Association
Address 2-44-10 Higashinippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo 116-0014
Phone Number 03-3801-4676

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