Nibutani Ita is a craft that has been passed down for over 100 years by the Ainu people living in the Saru River basin region. There are records that indicate that round and half-moon shaped trays were presented by the people of this region in the latter half of the 19th century.
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.
Sendai tansu grew as a local industry of the Sendai-han beginning in the final years of the Edo period (1603 - 1868). The kijiro-nuri wood treatment that brings out the wood grain, and the deluxe metal fittings that decorate the chests are distinctive features of this craft.
Akita Cherry-Bark Work
It seems that Kaba Zaiku goes back to the end of the 18th century, when the techniques were passed on to the people in Kakunodate by the Satake Kita-family from the Ani district in the north of Akita Prefecture.
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.
Akita Cedar Cooperage
Elements of tubs dating from the 15th and 16th centuries have been discovered at the former site of Akita castle. Records dating from the beginning of the 17th century kept by one of the old families of the Akita clan, make it clear that tubs were being used at a sake maker within the present-day district of Ogatsu-cho.
Fragments of simple basketry and rope were discovered at the Arayashiki archeological dig in the town of Mishima, Ohnuma county in Fukushima Prefecture, proving that the skills and techniques of weaving and twisting ropes existed in the area as far back as the Jomon period, which covers the period of Japanese history from about 10,000 B.C. to 300 B.C. Then, in one ancient local chronicle about farming, reference is made of the fact that baskets were being made from vegetable and plant material in the Aizu region.
Kasukabe Paulownia Chests
At the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), craftsmen who had gathered to build the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, took up residence in Kasukabe, an inn town along the old Nikko post road. It is said that these craftsmen were responsible for starting this craft by making cabinets and small articles out of paulownia taken from the surrounding area.
Edo Fishing Rods
Edo Wazao have always been made from natural culms (stems) of bamboo and were first made in Edo (Tokyo) in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868). By the end of this era, they had taken on their present-day form and can truly be called works of art. With the sea on their doorstep and some beautiful rivers, too, these rods were a crystallization of research into the needs of those who lived in Edo and loved to fish.
Many skilled individuals were encouraged to live and work in Edo (Tokyo) by the Shogunate right from the outset of the Edo period (1600-1868), and craft industries developed as a result of the formation of enclaves within the districts of Kanda and Nihonbashi for such specialists as carpenters, smiths, and dyers.
Hakone Wood Mosaic Work
This form of marquetry began at the post town in the mountains of Hakone about the middle of the 19th century. At first it was mainly an unstructured form of marquetry or one using a simple pattern. Then in the 1870s, marquetry skills from around Shizuoka were introduced and now Hakone Yosegi Zaiku is well known for its extremely fine handwork and as being the only craft of its kind in Japan.
Kamo Paulowina Chests
It seems that the making of Kamo Kiri Tansu began with one made by a carpenter in the early part of the 19th century. The very same chest is still being used in the city of Kamo today and it is inscribed on the back with ""Purchased 1814"".