The fact that the imperial court was supplied with paper from the province of Inaba (Inshu) is noted in the Engishiki, the Heian period (794-1185) document on official court dealings. By the beginning of the 18th century, the making of Inshu Washi had become centered on two villages and a paper for the exclusive use of the local clan was being produced.
Nambu Cast Ironwork
Present-day Morioka is at the center of an area which was controlled by the Nambu clan at the beginning of the 17th century. It was then that craftsmen practiced in the art of making chagama or pots used to heat water for the tea ceremony were invited to Morioka from Kyoto. Many more casters were subsequently engaged by the clan and the production of weapons, chagama , and other pots began in earnest.
Oku-Aizu Showa Karamushi Textiles
Karamushi is a plant also known as ramie, whose cultivation techniques have been passed down since olden times. All processes from cultivation up to weaving karamushi are done by hand in Showa Village where it is cultivated to produce fine linen textiles. Due to its superior moisture absorption and quick drying properties, it is used not only for making summer clothing, but also for making accessories, ornaments, and other articles.
Kasama Yaki started in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868) and was influenced by the feudal system until the abolition of the clans and the establishment of prefectures in the Meiji period (1868-1912).
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).
Although disputed, it seems likely that Karatsu Yaki was being made in this area even before the 1592 campaigns to Korea. The name is abbreviated from a ware made in the area of Matsuura where there were a number of kilns producing Taku kokaratsu, Hirado kokaratsu, and Takeo kokaratsu. It was, however, the ware from the Matsuura kokaratsu kiln that finally gave its name to this particular style of pottery.
Kyoto Folding Fans
Folding fans date back to the beginning of the Heian period (794-1185). It is thought that the first ones were shaped very much like the fans we know today but they were made out of several thin leaves of wood tied together. These fans were called hi-ogi because they were made out of hinoki or Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa).
Shinshu Forged Blades
The origins of forged blades in this area go back to the second half of the 16th century, to the time of the Kawanakajima battles. It was at this time that swordsmiths and others making and repairing weapons moved into the area and the local people learned forging skills.
It seems that the island of Kihachijo got its name from the Hachijo cloth, and the island was a supplier of silk right back in the Muromachi period (1392-1573). Since the middle of the 18th century, very elegant striped and checked cloths have been woven on the island, and these kimono cloths and obi still have many followers today.
The roots of this craft go back to Hayashi Matashichi. With the support of the local feudal lord Hosokawa and his family, Hayashi was doing inlaid metal work on firearms and sword guards during the first half of the 17th century. Subsequently, as this craft became established, fine Higo sword guards were produced by generation after generation of the Hayashi family as well as by other families such as the Hiratas, Nishigakis, Shimizus and Kamiyoshis right through the Edo period (1600-1868), and many pieces of their work are still in existence. When the carrying of swords was outlawed in 1876, the Higo craftsmen turned their hand to decorative work and began making everyday items in line with the new social conditions.
A 9th-century document confirms that the history of Awa Washi goes back some 1,300 years to times when a family known as Inbe serving the Imperial court, was growing flax and paper mulberry and producing cloth and paper.
Osaka Fine Cabinetry
Fine rarewood cabinetry was brought to Japan by the envoys who visited Tang dynasty China, hence the name of these woods in Japanese is literally ""woods of Tang"" or karaki. During the Edo period (1600-1868) when foreign intrusions were mostly shunned, rarewoods come into the country via Nagasaki and they were distributed through a wholesaler of medicines in Osaka.