Various kinds of paper for calligraphy, paper crafts, art papers and specialist papers to be used in the home are made under a name, which is mentioned in connection with paper presented to the court in an official Heian period (794-1185) document, the Engishiki. This has led people to believe that Tosa was already a center for the production of paper during this period.
Kaga Yuzen Dyeing
The origins of Kaga Yuzen go back to a type of dyeing called ume-zome, which was unique to the area. This dyeing technique already existed in the middle of the 15th century and can be verified through written records. Besides ume-zome, other very old methods of dyeing called kenbo-zome and iro-emon are also part of Kaga's legacy of dyeing and went under the general heading of okuni-zome.
Kiso Lacquer Ware
It was the beginning of the 17th century when this craft got its start, very much founded on the plentiful supplies of local Japanese cypress for the production of carcasses for goods rich in local color. Subsequently the craft developed under firm patronage from the Owari Tokugawa clan through the Edo Period (1603-1868) and this craft became popular with those travelling along the Nakasendo Highway.
Tokyo Fine-Pattern Dyeing
Although the history of this craft can be traced back to the Muromachi period (1392-1573), it was not until the Edo period (1600-1868) that cloth of this type was produced in any quantity. Stencil-dyed cloths were especially used for the kamishimo, a piece of formal dress worn by the Daimyo. These regional feudal lords were required to reside in Edo for long periods and the resulting increase in demand for this cloth made Edo the center of its production. Originally, it was only the Daimyo and samurai classes who wore garments of this cloth.
Yokaichi Banko Ware
Some 260 years ago there lived a wealthy merchant, Nunami Rozan. He was a knowledgeable exponent of tea and was interested in pottery. In fact, the name Banko-yaki or Banko ware originates from pieces he made himself. He stamped them with bankofueki, or literally "eternity, constancy", hoping they would be handed down through endless generations after he was gone.
It seems likely that the making of Fukuyama Koto started at the time of the erection of a castle at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868) in Fukuyama, which is now a city in Hiroshima Prefecture. Craft industries flourished in castle towns during the Edo period, and with encouragement from the feudal lord at the time, both accompanied and unaccompanied songs were very popular in Fukuyama.
Ryukyu Bingata Dyeing
The origins of Ryukyu Bingata dyeing can be traced back to the middle of the 15th century, when King Shoen was on the thrown. The court gave its unfailing patronage to the craft and according to a 1802 chronicle, Ryukyu Bingata was called a "floral cloth of the east" and was highly regarded at the market in Fuchien, China.
Yamanaka Lacquer Ware
The origins of this craft date back to the second half of the 16th century, when a group of craftsmen moved into the area in search of good materials and began turning bowls and other things.
The cultivation of cotton for home use on the sandy soil in the area of Yumigahama in the western part of Tottori Prefecture started in the latter half of the 17th century. When wholesalers of the indigo balls used for dyeing became established in the middle of the 18th century, cotton production for cloth increased.
Trade flourished between the kingdom of Ryukyu and China and South East Asia during the 14th and 15th centuries and weaving techniques were learned through these exchanges. Nurtured by the Okinawan climate and developed over the centuries, a number of textiles, each with their own characteristic traits, came into being. One of these was a cloth produced in Shuri.
Ouchi Lacquer Ware
During the Muromachi period (1392-1573), Ouchi, who was a prominent figure in the area corresponding to present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture, promoted trade with Korea and Ming dynasty China. He encouraged the making of this particular lacquer ware for export and, although this trade finally died out, the skills which had been learned were carried over into the Edo period (1600-1868), and are still with us today.
When the monk Kukai journeyed to China some 1,200 years ago, he made a study of brush making there and on his return, he passed on his knowledge to people living in the province of Yamatokoku that is now called Nara Prefecture. This marked the beginnings of brush making here.