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.
It seems that the link between Kure and writing brushes dates back to when some brushes were acquired from a region of what is now Hyogo Prefecture by one Kikutani Sanzo at the beginning of the 19th century. The brushes were brought for use at the temples in the area and, as a result of this business, the advantages of actually making brushes during the slack time of the agricultural calendar were explained to the local farmers.
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.
Aizu Lacquer Ware
It was the planting of lacquer trees promoted by a powerful local family during the Muromachi period (1392-1573) that led to the making of Aizu Nuri. Then, when Gamo Ujisato who hailed from present-day Shiga Prefecture arrived to head the Aizu clan in the Momoyama period (1573-1600), he brought skilled lacquerers to this northern region from Shiga. Their skills were disseminated and as a result of fostering the development of techniques in crafts using lacquer, Aizu soon became a production center for all kinds of lacquer ware.
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.
Yamefukushima Household Buddhist Altars
One night in early 19th century, a cabinet maker dreamt about an extremely beautiful, majestic Buddhist building. Inspired by his dream, he enlisted the help of work mates and together they built a Buddhist household altar. This is the story behind the origins of the Yamefukushima Butsudan.
Recognized as one of the six old kilns or Rokkoyo in Japan, the origin of Shigaraki Yaki dates back to the making of roofing tiles for the Shigaraki palace by Emperor Shomu during the Tenpyo period beginning in 730.
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.
Tokyo Antimony Craft
Tokyo Antimony is a cast metal craft that uses an alloy made from lead, antimony, and tin. This craft was established in Tokyo as a local industry in the early Meiji period (1868 - 1912). The detailed patterns and engravings are used for decorations, trophies, ornaments, and more.
Pongee was first produced here in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), when sericulture began. By the end of the same era, production had increased to such an extent that silk merchants came to do business from places which had their own flourishing weaving industry such as Kyoto and Joshu, the area that now corresponds to present-day Gunma prefecture.
Ise Paper Stencils
Although the history of these stencil papers dates back a very long way, no one is too sure as to actually when they were first made. However, it seems likely that they were already in existence at the end of the Muromachi period (1392-1573) because a contemporary painter called Kano Yoshinobu, depicted someone using a stencil in a painting called Shokunin-zukushi-e.