KOUGEI-EXPO

全国くらしの工芸展 11/25(金)〜11/27(日) 会場:サンドーム福井

文具

赤間硯

Akama Inkstones

文具

山口県

Yamaguchi

赤間硯は鎌倉時代の初めに、鶴岡八幡宮に奉納されたという記録があります。江戸時代中期には各地で売り広められました。
毛利氏が藩を治めていた時代には、原料となる石が採れる山は御止山(おとめやま)として一般には入山を禁じられ、参勤交代の贈り物等として硯が必要になると、藩主の命令で採掘がされました。こうした事情から、長州藩の名産として簡単に手に入れることのできないものでした。

Records exist showing that an Akama inkstone was offered at the Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura at the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). By the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868) these inkstones were being sold up and down the country. By the time that Mori was leading the local clan, unauthorized people were prohibited from mining the stone from which these inkstones were made and should one be needed as a gift at such times at the Sankin Kotai, when feudal lords travelled to live in Edo, permission to mine the stone had to be given by the head of the clan. This made it quite difficult to obtain one of these much prized inkstones from the Choshu clan.Akama inkstones possess all the right qualities of a good inkstone. The stone is hard and it has a close grain. It is beautifully patterned and is soft enough to work. The hobo on which the ink stick is ground has a close grain helping to produce ink quickly and of the best quality in terms of color and luster. These inkstones are now being produced by 7 firms employing 15 people, 2 of whom are government recognized Master Craftsmen.

熊野筆

Kumano Brushes

文具

広島県

Hiroshima

江戸時代、農業だけでは生活が支えきれない農民の多くが、農閉期に現在の和歌山県にあたる紀州の熊野地方や、奈良県にあたる大和の吉野地方に出稼ぎに行き、故郷に帰る時に、それらの地方で作られた筆や墨を仕入れて行商を行っていました。そうしたことから熊野と筆の結び付きが生まれました。
江戸時代後期に、広島藩を治めていた藩主の浅野家の御用筆司(ごようふでし)の所で、筆作りの方法を身につけた熊野の住人が、村に戻って村民にその技法を伝えたのが熊野筆の始まりとされています。

During the Edo period (1600-1868), many farmers found life very difficult. When there was no farm work, peasants went off in search of work to the Kumano district in Kishu corresponding to present-day Wakayama and the Yoshino area of Yamato, which is now Nara Prefecture. On returning to their homelands they sold writing brushes and ink they had acquired from these places. Ultimately, this led to the making of brushes in Kumano. Toward the end of the Edo period, brushes were being made in a workshop set up by the Asano family, head of the Hiroshima clan. The techniques of brush making became a firmly established craft among the people and the handing down of these skills within the village marked the beginnings of Kumano brushes as they are known today.Many kinds of brushes for use in schools, for calligraphy, painting and even for makeup are being made by 134 firms employing 3,500 people, among whom are 18 government recognized Master Craftsmen.

播州そろばん

Banshu Abacus

文具

兵庫県

Hyogo

そろばんは室町時代の終り頃、中国から長崎を経由して大津に伝わりました。
安土桃山時代に、豊臣秀吉の三木城攻略時に、大津に逃れた住民が、そろばんの技法を習得し、地元に帰って製造を始めたのが播州そろばんの始まりと言われています。昭和35年には360万丁と最も多く生産されましたが、その後電卓の出現によって、その需要は減少しています。

Coming first from China, the abacus was brought to Otsu from Nagasaki toward the end of the Muromachi period (1392-1573). It was during the following Momoyama period (1573-1600), when Toyotomi Hideyoshi sieged Miki castle, that the people of this small castle town fled to nearby Otsu, where some learned how to make the abacus. When they finally returned to their homeland, they began making what became the Banshu abacus. The peak of production here was in 1960, when 3.6 million abacuses were made. Demand has gradually fallen since then due to the appearance of the electronic calculator. The abacus, however, still has value as it provides a much more graphic way of visualizing calculations, and as such still has a place in the curriculum of many schools, where in the past principals of education were "reading, writing and abacus". Some also believe that using an abacus can stimulate the brain and prevent senile dementia.Dense hardwoods such as ebony are used for the frame and boxwood and birch are used for the beads. The smooth operation of these abacuses is one of their special features but, the fineness and delicacy of the work, makes them works of art in wood. There are now 81 firms employing 197 staff, 12 of whom are government recognized Master Craftsmen.

豊橋筆

Toyohashi Brushes

文具

愛知県

Aichi

江戸時代後期に、現在の豊橋市にあたる地域を支配していた吉田藩の藩主が、京都の職人を、藩のために筆を作る御用筆匠(ごようふでしょう)として迎え、下級武士に副業として筆作りを奨励したのが始まりです。
明治初年、芯巻筆(しんまきふで)を改良した、現在の筆と同じ作りの水筆の製法で筆が作られるようになり、豊橋筆の基礎となりました。現在筆作りの職人375人が、伝統的技術・技法を受け継ぎ、筆作りに励んでいます。

Toyohashi is situated at the center of the area which was once ruled by the Yoshida clan. Toward the end of the 18th century, the leader of the clan brought in Suzuki Jinzaemon from Kyoto, and he began making brushes for the clan. Gradually lower ranking samurai started this work and this marked the true beginnings of the craft in Toyohashi. Toward the end of the 19th century, Haga Jirokichi promoted the making of a coreless brush called a suihitsu and the same brushes are still being made today. Jirokichi was also instrumental in giving the craft a firm base in the area, and established a scheme for the training of apprentices.Being a style of writing brush in general use, the market for Toyohashi's brushes has been greatly affected by the importing of cheaper brushes from China. A great deal of effort is therefore being made to produce top quality brushes to appeal to the Japanese user, in order to survive in a very competitive market. Today, 15 of the 370 people engaged by the 76 companies in the area are designated as Master Craftsman by the government, and various types of brushes for calligraphy and painting are still being made with unfailing diligence, following traditional methods and techniques.