In the middle of the 18th century, the local clan head felt that it would be possible to improve clan finances by producing porcelain using a locally found kaolin. Potters experienced in the making of porcelain from the region of present-day Nagasaki Prefecture were brought to the area and this marked the beginning of porcelain making in Tobe.
When Hosokawa Tadatoshi moved from the fief of Buzen to take control of the fief of Higo in 1632, two master potters were appointed. One of these was Genhichi, the first of a long line of potters of the Hinkoji family, and the other was Hachizaemon, the first of successive generations of potters from the Katsuragi family. It was the appointment of these two men that is said to have marked the beginnings of the making of Shodai Yaki.
Along with Shiozawa Tsumugi, Honshiozawa is a representative cloth from the Shiozawa area and has been well known by the name Shiozawa Omeshi for some time past. Its origins are said to date back to the middle of the 18th century and similarly to the crepe from Echigo, it is a silk crepe with a characteristic crimp, which makes use of linen weaving techniques.
Kasukabe Paulownia Chests
At the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), craftsmen who had gathered to build the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, took up residence in Kasukabe, an inn town along the old Nikko post road. It is said that these craftsmen were responsible for starting this craft by making cabinets and small articles out of paulownia taken from the surrounding area.
The origins of Mikawachi Yaki date back to the building of a kiln by Korean potters that were brought back to this area of Kyushu by landowners who had taken part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign to the Korean Peninsular at the end of the 16th century.
Yuntanza Hana-ui Fabrics
Although it is uncertain actually when, some people think that this type of weaving came from the South because of its very particular floral designs. What is certain, however, is that the cloth was being produced in the 15th century because records show that gifts of this figured cloth were sent to Korea.There are also records of the cloth being presented to the King of Ryukyu from Java.
Although this craft dates back to the Heian period (794-1185), specialist cabinet makers did not appear until during the Muromachi period (1392-1573), when this form of joinery developed in step with the ceremonial drinking of tea. Beside a range of the finest traditional household furniture made in solid wood, many pieces of turnery, bentwood work and items made from boards are also fashioned from such woods as paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa), Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), mulberry (Morus) and zelkova (Zelkova serrata).
The origins of Satsuma Yaki date back to the 16th century. The local feudal lord, Shimazu, returned from the Korean peninsular with some potters who helped to get things started.
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.
Edo Cut Glass
It is said that the origins of Edo Kiriko date back to 1834 when a Kagaya Kyubei, who was working in a small glass works in Edo (Tokyo), copied a piece of English cut glass. It also seems that Commodore Matthew Perry, who arrived in Japan toward the end of the Edo Period (1600-1868), was very surprised when he was presented with a splendid piece of Kagaya's cut glass.
These dolls played a large role in the important and lively events of the annual Girl's Day and Boy's Day celebrations in the late Edo period.
Sanshu Onigawara Crafts
These traditional crafts have a history of over 300 years and flourished at the beginning of the 18th century. People who make onigawara crafts are known as “onishi” or “oniitashi”. In addition to the traditional types with gargoyles and family crests, the onigawara craft extends to other products such as small ornaments for interior design and outdoor decorations.