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.
Okazaki Stone Carving
The origins of this craft date back to the latter part of the Muromachi period (1391-1573). It was during the following Momoyama period (1573-1600), however, that the lord of Okazaki castle brought in skilled stone masons from Kawachi and Izumi to carry out some improvements to the surrounding town and had stone walls and moats built.
Kyoto Stone Carving
Although man's relationship with stone began long ago in the Stone Age, it was not until the end of the Nara period (710-794) when Buddhism was introduced into Japan that stone became more than just a utilitarian material.
Izumo Stone Lanterns
Izumo Ishidoro have been made for many hundreds of years from a local sandstone that formed from volcanic ash. During the Edo period (1600-1868) Matsudaira Naomasa, the local lord, recognized the value of this craft and placed the stone under a monopoly. The stone was then also used for architectural purposes. Ever since the end of the 19th century, the pieces of stonework for gardens and home have been seen as stone art and are well-known throughout Japan.