Yamagata Household Buddhist Altars
By the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), the number of people travelling to and from Kyoto had increased because of the trade in such crops as safflower from Yamagata. As a result, Buddhist altar culture found its way into the area.
Niigata Shirone Household Buddhist Altars
A specialist, who was responsible for building a temple, introduced various skills and techniques from Kyoto to the area in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868) and made Kyoto style household Buddhist altars. He also made a plain wooden altar, carving it in a simple manner himself. This was to be the forerunner of Niigata Shirone Butsudan.
Nagaoka Household Buddhist Altars
During the 17th century, a number of temples and shrines were built in and around the city of Nagaoka. It seems that the specialist carpenters, sculptors of Buddhist images, sculptors of other carved elements and lacquerers who had come into the area from all over the country because of this building work, started making household Buddhist altars during the winter months.
Sanjo Household Buddhist Altars
The area known as Sanjo has always been strongly associated with Buddhism, sometimes known as the ""capital"" of the faith. This is partly evidenced by the building during the 18th century of the Hokuriku region's finest piece of temple architecture.
Iiyama Household Buddhist Altars
The making of Buddhist household altars became firmly established in the thriving religious community of Iiyama during the beginning of the 17th century. All of the work was done in the area by different craftsmen and then the whole thing was assembled.
Kanazawa Household Buddhist Altars
It is possible to trace the origins of Kanazawa Butsudan back to the 17th century. What prompted their production was the sheer number of people who had been converted to the Jodo Shinshu in the Hokuriku region of Japan, after Rennyo-shonin, a Buddhist priest of the same order visited the area to spread the word.
Nanao Household Buddhist Altars
Various words associated with the making of household Buddhist altars appear in an ancient document called Ofuregaki between 1613 and 1703. In one dating back to 1688, there is mention of maki-e-dogu, kinpun and kirigane, all things associated with maki-e decorative lacquer techniques or gilding. There is also a reference to silver leaf in the same document dating back to 1669.
Nagoya Household Buddhist Altars
Fostered by a strong belief in Buddhism, the making of these altars developed early in the area and even at the beginning of the Edo period, specialist stores dealing in home altars already existed. Skills were collectively honed by the groups of craftsmen that were created after wholesale groups were established and traditional methods and techniques were cultivated.
Mikawa Household Buddhist Altars
Mikawa Butsudan date back to the middle of the 18th century. It was then that a certain altar maker made an altar using good pine, cedar and cypress that was brought down the Yasakugawa river and finished his work using natural lacquer tapped from trees at the foot of Mt. Sarunage in the north of Mikawa.
Hikone Household Buddhist Altars
Gradually during the 18th century, highly skilled armorers, lacquerers and other artisans were encouraged by the Hikone clan to work on the making of household altars, at first more or less as a ""cottage industry"". Subsequently with the rise in popularity of Buddhism and the patronage of the Hikone clan, a production center became established, forming the foundations of the small craft industry as it exists today.
Kyoto Household Buddhist Altars
Household Buddhist altars were a variation of miniature shrines called zushi and were originally used exclusively by the warrior classes. It is thought that the production of ordinary household altars began in earnest with an increase in the numbers of people requiring one at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), when the Tokugawa Shogunate introduced new religious policies.
Kyoto Buddhist Paraphernalia
It is conceivable that the various pieces of paraphernalia associated with Buddhism were first produced in Kyoto around the 8th century, when the monks Saichou and Kukai were exerting their influence on Heian Buddhism.