Koshu Crystal Carving
This craft started some one thousand years ago, after quartz was found near Mount Kinpu beyond Mitakeshosenkyo, which is famous for its beautiful views. When it was first discovered, it was used as an ornament but by the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), Shinto priests were taking the raw material to Kyoto to have them made into gems. Koshu crystal carving started in the latter days of the Edo period, when master craftsmen were welcomed to the area and began polishing quartz on an iron sheet using a emery powder called kongousha made from a very hard stone, rather in the way that diamonds are polished.
Ornaments and items of jewelry are being produced today. Many of these pieces have been created to make the most of the distinctive features of the natural gem stone, meaning that no two items are alike. This craft is sustained by 70 firms employing 200 staff, among whom are 39 government recognized Master Craftsmen.
- Yamanashi Crystal Art Carving Association
- 1569 Yokkaichiba, Isawa-cho,
Higashi Yatsushiro-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture
Website : http://www.suishou.jp/