5 Traditional Japanese Crafts That Are Pure Works of Art

There are traditional and splendid craft works in each region all over Japan. Among them, I’d like to introduce the best 5 craft works that are highly reputed in the world!


The history of Nanbu Tekki Ironware, which is the craft work that represents Iwate prefecture, dates back to the middle of the seventeenth century. At that time the lord of Nanbu Domain who had ruled Morioka city, Iwate and around it invited a craftsman making chagama from Kyoto and made him craft teakettles. It was the beginning of Nanbu Tekki Ironware. Still now, the traditional techniques are inherited and crafstmen are making teakettles or iron kettles each by hand. Nanbu Tekki Ironware is loved by many people because it has excellent hot insulation performance, strong, durable, and the hot water boiled in the Nanbu Tekki Ironware contains iron and good for the health.

〇No. 4 Kumano brushes

Kumano brushes made in Akigun, Hiroshima prefecture, are famous brushes and said to hold 80% or more in tne whole brushes market in Japan. There are various ways of using brushes like for calligraphy, painting, makeup, and tanjofude (brushes made from baby’s hair as a memory of birth). Especially the one that is popular nowadays is makeup brush. Kumano brushes are soft for the skin, and with high quality fitting curves of the face, they are used by major cosmetic companies abroad and highly reputed in the world.

〇No. 3 Miyagi Traditional Kokeshi Dolls

There are five kinds of Traditional Kokeshi Dolls in Miyagi prefecture and each one has specific shape, patterns, and expression of the face according to the craftsman of the kind. The simple, beautiful and lovely figure of Kokeshi Dolls makes us feel soothing by just looking at them. Each kind of Kokeshi Dolls has different characteristics so find and enjoy the one you like, it will be fun.

〇No. 2 Edo Kiriko

Edo Kiriko was started to be made in Tokyo (Edo at that time) in the late Edo period. Kiriko means the cut glass with high transparency that is sculptured or cut decoratively. The patterns used for Edo Kiriko is Japanese style and the same as used for kimono and so on. That is the one of its characteristics. The delicate beauty makes it so popular as a gift.

No. 1 Kyo Yuzen

Kyo Yuzen is one of traditional craft works in Kyoto prefecture. It is the way of dyeing created by Miyazaki Yuzensai, a painter of folding fans 300 years or more before now. Using many colors and dyeing kimono patterns like a picture, Yuzen dyeing can be said to represent Japanese kimono. Although using a lot of colors, the colors and patterns of Kyo Yuzen never become showy but elegant and make us feel the specific charm of Kyoto.

Photo by aie, unic, Nobuyuki Kondo, Yasuo Kida

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