Nagoya Black Dyeing
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Owari clan controlled the area centered on present-day Nagoya. It was then that the Kosakai family--one of the families of retainers--was recognized as clan dyer by the Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the making of clan flags and banners at this time led to the establishment of this craft.
Tokamachi Akashi Crepe
Towards the end of the 19th century a sample roll of summer-weight kimono cloth was brought back to Tokamachi from Nishijin in Kyoto. Work then began on adapting an existing local weave called Tokamachi sukiya with a view to producing something new. A great deal of effort was then put into developing and improving the ways of tightly twisting up weft threads, resulting in improvements to another existing cloth, yorisukiya.
Ryukyu Bingata Dyeing
The origins of Ryukyu Bingata dyeing can be traced back to the middle of the 15th century, when King Shoen was on the thrown. The court gave its unfailing patronage to the craft and according to a 1802 chronicle, Ryukyu Bingata was called a "floral cloth of the east" and was highly regarded at the market in Fuchien, China.
Arimatsu Narumi Shibori
Although the sophisticated technique of tie-dyeing called shibori itself dates back to the Nara period (710-794), the history of the craft here only goes back some 400 years, to when the feudal lord from the province of Bungo--now Oita Prefecture--was ordered to assist in the building of Nagoya castle.
Tokyo Yuzen Dyeing
By the 18th century, Edo was the center of political power of the Shogunate and the culture and economy of this metropolis that later became Tokyo flourished.
Kiso Lacquer Ware
It was the beginning of the 17th century when this craft got its start, very much founded on the plentiful supplies of local Japanese cypress for the production of carcasses for goods rich in local color. Subsequently the craft developed under firm patronage from the Owari Tokugawa clan through the Edo Period (1603-1868) and this craft became popular with those travelling along the Nakasendo Highway.
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.
Murakami Carved and Lacquered Ware
The Murakami area of Niigata Prefecture has been well known since the Heian period (794-1185) as a natural lacquer producing area. Using this refined sap, Murakami Kibori Tsuishu dates back to the beginning of the 15th century.
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.
Hidehira Lacquer Ware
This lacquer craft really began when Ohshu Fujiwara wielded power over Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture toward the end of the Heian period (794-1185). It was he who lent this support to the building of the temple, Chusonji with its famous Konjikido and many fine pieces of Buddhist art in general.
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.
Kyoto Lacquer Ware
The maki-e technique of laying down gold and silver powders was preceded by techniques which first came into being during the Nara period (710-794), when Japan was under the influence of Tang dynasty China. The same techniques continued to be used and were developed during the Heian period (794-1185), when the capital was moved to Heian-kyo, now Kyoto.