Although the history of Isesaki Kasuri dates back to ancient times, it was not until the latter half of the 17th century that a production center for these cloths became established. Also, from the middle of the 19th century right up until relatively recent times, these cloths were known throughout Japan as Isesaki meisen.
Wakasa Lacquer Ware
The making of Wakasa Nuri began at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), when lacquerers of the Obama clan near Wakasa Bay started decorating their work with designs depicting elements of the ocean floor, having got the idea from techniques used in Chinese lacquer ware.
Kyoto Folding Fans
Folding fans date back to the beginning of the Heian period (794-1185). It is thought that the first ones were shaped very much like the fans we know today but they were made out of several thin leaves of wood tied together. These fans were called hi-ogi because they were made out of hinoki or Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa).
Okazaki Stone Carving
The origins of this craft date back to the latter part of the Muromachi period (1391-1573). It was during the following Momoyama period (1573-1600), however, that the lord of Okazaki castle brought in skilled stone masons from Kawachi and Izumi to carry out some improvements to the surrounding town and had stone walls and moats built.
Osaka Senshu Paulownia Chests
Sometime during the 18th century, farmers started making boxes and other simple pieces of cabinetry during slack times of the year, using locally obtained paulownia (Paulownia Sieb. et Zucc.) and cork-tree (Phellodendron Rupr.). This ""cottage industry"" grew in stature by leaps and bounds after the middle of the 19th century and is still thriving.
Large quantities of kaolin were discovered in the area during the 18th century. With the help of the local feudal lord, potters skilled in the making of porcelain from Arita in present-day Saga Prefecture were brought in to help, and the porcelain made in the castle town of Izushi marked the beginnings of this ware. Subsequently, the number of kilns increased in and around this castle town and a production center became established.
Originating in India, this method of weaving was introduced into Japan around the 14th century along eastern trade routes.
Kyoto Kanoko Shibori
Shaped resist tie-dyeing, or shibori has been carried out for over a thousand years in Japan and was used for the patterns on court dress. It is known as kanoko shibori, or literally "fawn spot tie-dyeing" because of its resemblance to the spots on a young fawn.
Kishu Paulownia Chests
At the end of the Edo period (1600-1868), the tower of Wakayama Castle was destroyed when it was struck by lightening and much of the furniture was burnt to ashes. Records show that when the castle tower was rebuilt four years later, the chests and other cabinets, which had been lost in the fire, were remade. Further more, old books and chests dating back to the mid-19th century have also been discovered in town houses all over Wakayama Prefecture.
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.
Suruga Hina Doll Fittings
Paraphernalia for the Hina Matsuri or doll festival was already being produced in Suruga in the 16th century when Imagawa was feudal lord of this province that corresponds to present-day Shizuoka Prefecture. With the construction of Kunosan Toshogu shrine and the Asama Shrine, many advanced craft techniques were introduced from all over the country and the production of Hina paraphernalia developed as part of the lacquer ware industry which, benefiting from the warm humid climate of the area, became established during the Edo period (1600 -1868).
About 1763, Morita Motozo who lived in the province of Iwami learned how to make pottery from a potter from present-day Yamaguchi prefecture, and he began making small items such as lipped bowls and sake flasks. Some 20 years later, it seems that much larger pieces of pottery such as water jars found their way into the area from present-day Okayama prefecture and these were also made.