KOSHU Inden (Lacquered Deerskin Crafts)


Lacquered deerskin products were already being produced in the area around Kofu in what is now Yamanashi Prefecture during the late Edo era (1600-1868). By the end of the 19th century, deerskin money bags and purses were well known across the country, even receiving a mention in the comedic novel Tokaidochu Hizakurige.
Lacquered deer hide products are soft, strong and light. They are usually decorated with a fine pattern applied in natural lacquer. Their timeless appeal has led to many becoming cherished possessions. Items produced today include bags, pouches and purses as well as fashion accessories.


Koshu lacquered deerskin products are soft, light and durable. Coated in a decorative lacquer, they become more comfortable and beloved the longer they are used.

How to make

There are two primary methods for making Koshu lacquered deerskin pouches. In one method, the deer leather is dyed and painstakingly cut to the appropriate size. Then, a stencil is used to apply the lacquer pattern. Finally, the leather is sewn to make a pouch. In the other method, the leather is ironed, stretched and bound across a drum. Then, straw is burned to smoke the leather, decorative patterns are applied, and the leather is sewn to make a pouch.