Yamagata Metal Casting
In the middle of the Heian period (794-1185), Minamoto Yoriyoshi fought a number of battles in the Yamagata area in an effort to quell various uprisings. The metal casters, who were part and parcel of the army and operations, discovered that the quality of the sand in the river flowing through Yamagata city and the earth in present-day Chitose park were ideal for casting. Some of those casters settled in the area and became the founders of Yamagata metal casting.
Mention is made in a late Edo period (1600-1868) ""shopping guide"" for Kofu, the capital of Yamanashi prefecture, that seals were being sold and skilled craftsmen were making blocks and seals in wood.
It is said that Kiryu Ori go back some 1,200 years, to when Princess Shirataki, who served at the Imperial Court, went to live in Kiryu after she married into the Yamada family and taught the art of sericulture and weaving to the people of the village.
Kishu Paulownia Chests
At the end of the Edo period (1600-1868), the tower of Wakayama Castle was destroyed when it was struck by lightening and much of the furniture was burnt to ashes. Records show that when the castle tower was rebuilt four years later, the chests and other cabinets, which had been lost in the fire, were remade. Further more, old books and chests dating back to the mid-19th century have also been discovered in town houses all over Wakayama Prefecture.
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.
When the head of the Tokushima fief ordained that porcelain in the style of Nanking and Karatsu Yaki should be produced in 1780, craftsman were brought in from the island of Kyushu, a kiln was built and production began.
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.
Nagoya Paulownia Chests
It seems likely that the making of this distinctive style of paulownia chest was begun in Nagoya by craftsmen who, having been involved in the building of Nagoya castle some 400 years ago, settled there and began making chest of drawers and chests.
It is thought that Mino Washi dates back to the Nara period (710-794), because records at the Shoso-in Repository show that it was used for a census during the 8th century. By the Muromachi period (1392-1573) the Rokusaiichi paper market was being held. This was set up by the locally influential Toki Nariyori and Mino Washi were shipped to Kyoto, Osaka and Ise, making it one of the best known papers of its times.