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.
Practical in the extreme, each one is designed to fish a particular kind of fish under particular circumstances. Besides this everyone has their own likes and dislikes which can also be accommodated. Having made a rod to satisfy all these conditions, it is beautifully finished with a coat of natural lacquer.
Edo Wazao is a practical tool, and differ by the fish it used for, the place it is used, and the preferences of its fishermen. After being designed for these varied conditions, they are then beautifully lacquered.
How to make
Edo fishing rods are made of Japan’s natural bamboo, primarily the Hoteitake, Hachiku, Yadake and Madake varieties. The materials used decide the final quality of the rod. The selection of bamboo is so important that craftsmen cut the bamboo themselves, and from thousands of cut bamboo stems, choose only a few to turn into rods. After being tried for several years, the bamboo stems are polished for use. As Edo Wazao is jointed, only the exact number of bamboo stems needed for all the joints are prepared. The stems are then up according careful consideration of which joint they will be used for in the rod. The stems are then lined up straight, jointed, bound together and finally lacquered to produce the rod.