At the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185-1333), carpenters and cabinet makers were invited from Kyoto and Kamakura to build temples and shrines in the area, and Miyajima Zaiku as it is today, is a natural extension of the techniques that were used.
The development of this craft was fostered by the abundant supplies of timber found in the forests along the prefectural border, and supplied from the stocks of wood held in the area known as Hatsukaichi.
Including such simple items as shamoji or rice-serving paddles, a wide variety of household goods are being made alongside turnery and various types of carved goods. A number of finishes are, often to bring out the true qualities of the material, by expressing the natural coloring and grain of the wood.
Miyajima zaiku consists of many products used in a wide range of everyday activities, including rice scoops, objects made at the turning table, kurimono (hollowed out objects) and sculptures. Most products consist of a wooden base to which various finishings are applied that fully showcase the full natural flavor of wood, highlighting characteristics like its grain, color and texture.
How to make
The basic stages include wood gathering, preparation of a wooden base, finishing and decorating. Decorations include Miyajima-bori carvings, lacquer-wiping (urushifuki) using natural lacquer and rust-staining (sabi irosome).