The origins of this ware date back to an earthenware called sueki that was made about 700, during the Nara period (710-794), although the traditional skills, techniques and nomenclature of Akazu Yaki that are still in use today were established during the early years of the Edo period (1600-1868). It was the period slightly prior to this that saw the establishment of glazing techniques that are still in use, namely shino, oribe, kizeto, and ofuke.
Kawanabe Household Buddhist Altars
At the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185-1333) the Kawanabe area was noted for its connections with Buddhism. Kawanabe, a local powerful family who held sway over the southern part of what is now Kagoshima Prefecture, and the remains of Heike family, who were defeated at Dannoura, began holding memorial services and preaching the word of Buddha along a ravine of clear water in Kawanabe-cho.
The origins of Iwayado Tansu date back to the end of the 18th century, when the custodian of Iwayado castle had his retainers look into the commercial possibilities of such pieces of wooden furniture as chests with lids and others riding on palettes fitted with wheels.
These dolls played a large role in the important and lively events of the annual Girl's Day and Boy's Day celebrations in the late Edo period.
Makabe Stone Lanterns
Good quality granite found in the Makabe area of Ibaraki Prefecture has been used to make a variety of useful articles since ancient times. The actual working of stone in the area began around the end of the Muromachi period (1333-1568) with the making of Buddhist stone articles around Nagaoka in Makabe-cho.
This textile originated in the Edo period, and in 1908, the unique hogushi nassen dyeing technique was patented, and the craft prospered.
Kyoto Kumihimo Braids
Both twisted cord and simple braided cord were used in everyday life during the Jomon period (ca. 10,000 - ca. 300 B.C). Kyoto braided cord is reported to have appeared in the Heian period (794-1185) but techniques in the making of practical braided cord developed in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) as the use of armor increased. Production of cord for haori, short kimono jackets, started in the Edo period (1600-1868).
Originating in India, this method of weaving was introduced into Japan around the 14th century along eastern trade routes.
In Japan, ever since the Jomon and Yayoi periods, people have made thread from fiber derived from plants and trees that grow naturally in the mountains such as Japanese linden, mulberry, elm, wisteria, kudzu, and ramie, and used this thread to weave fabric and make clothing and ornaments for private home use.
Aizu Hongo Ware
It seems that the making of pottery started here during the Sengoku period (1428-1573), when tiles to roof a castle in Aizuwakamatsu were being made. Then, during the early years of the Edo period (1600-1868) Hoshina Masayuki, who led the Aizu clan, saw a need to patronize and further the making of pottery, and the production of what became Aizu Hongo Yaki ware flourished under the supervision of the clan. This subsequently led to the making of everyday pieces of pottery for use by people at large. Production of ceramics here suffered badly due to fighting just prior to the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and as a result of a devastating fire in the Taisho period (1912-1926). The industry recovered, however, and is still thriving today. It has the distinction of being the oldest area where white porcelain is produced in the whole of northeastern Japan.
Kanazawa Lacquer Ware
The Kaga clan, which held sway over the area now known as Ishikawa Prefecture, actively promoted the arts and many crafts. Kanazawa Shikki was just one of those and dates back to the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868).
Odate Bentwood Work
Satake Yoshinobu was a military commander who fought with Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Hideyoshi was vanquished and Satake was ordered by the Tokugawa Shogunate to move from his former domain of Mito to Akita in the extreme north of Honshu. He found the people there were very poor and some did not even have enough to eat. As castellans of Odate castle, the western branch of Satake family set about trying to relieve the poverty of their people by using the rich supplies of timber to be found in the fief.