This type of cloth dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, when a 12 year old girl called Inoue Den was inspired by a scrap of old material. Later, the Kurume clan in the south west of present day Fukuoka Prefecture promoted its production.
Osaka Naniwa Pewter Ware
Pewter ware was first introduced to Japan some 1,300 years ago by envoys from China. Later during the early part of the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the Zen monk Eisai visited Sung dynasty China and returned with a maker of tea urns. His skills with pewter are said to mark the real beginning of this craft in Japan. It was not until the 18th century, however, that a production center was established in Osaka.
Large quantities of kaolin were discovered in the area during the 18th century. With the help of the local feudal lord, potters skilled in the making of porcelain from Arita in present-day Saga Prefecture were brought in to help, and the porcelain made in the castle town of Izushi marked the beginnings of this ware. Subsequently, the number of kilns increased in and around this castle town and a production center became established.
Kanazawa Household Buddhist Altars
It is possible to trace the origins of Kanazawa Butsudan back to the 17th century. What prompted their production was the sheer number of people who had been converted to the Jodo Shinshu in the Hokuriku region of Japan, after Rennyo-shonin, a Buddhist priest of the same order visited the area to spread the word.
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.
Various kinds of paper for calligraphy, paper crafts, art papers and specialist papers to be used in the home are made under a name, which is mentioned in connection with paper presented to the court in an official Heian period (794-1185) document, the Engishiki. This has led people to believe that Tosa was already a center for the production of paper during this period.
Edo Decorative Papers
The origin of these decorative papers dates back to a type of paper used during the Heian period (794-1185) to write out the traditional style of poem called a waka. Nevertheless, it was not until the Middle Ages that decorative papers were applied to free-standing screens and were stretched over the sliding screens called fusuma dividing interior space.
Osaka Kongo Bamboo Blinds
The making of bamboo blinds goes right back to before the Heian period (794-1185). Blinds of this kind were first used as a screen inside the Imperial palace and the residences of noblemen, and became the model for blinds which are still used in traditional reception rooms today.
Ichii Itto Bori developed from small beginnings, when a woodcarver named Matsuda Sukenaga used a yew felled from the Hida mountains to make some rather special netsuke that were left uncolored and simply took full advantage of the beautiful grain of this wood. Since then, this craft has always been representative of the woodcarving done in the Hida region.
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.
Osaka Household Buddhist Altars
Household Buddhist altars and other items associated with the religion were first made in Osaka by specialists who came from Paekche on the Korean peninsular, at the time that Shotoku Taishi built the Shiteno-ji temple in the late 6th century.
Wakasa Agate Work
Wakasa now stands in present-day Fukui Prefecture. One of the old villages of Wakasa was called Onyu and it was this area that was served by the main shrine of the province. Back in the Nara period (710-794), a sea-faring people known as the Wanizoku, who made jade the object of their faith, came to the area and built what was called the Wani-kaido, a road in front of the shrine. Here they started making jade objects and Wakasa Meno Zaiku is said to have begun at this time.