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



Osaka Naniwa Pewter Ware





Pewter ware was first introduced to Japan some 1,300 years ago by envoys from China. Later during the early part of the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the Zen monk Eisai visited Sung dynasty China and returned with a maker of tea urns. His skills with pewter are said to mark the real beginning of this craft in Japan. It was not until the 18th century, however, that a production center was established in Osaka.Pewter is a very stable metal. It is ideal for such things as a sake flask as it does not affect the delicate flavors of this rice wine, and the taste of water kept in a pewter container is improved by an ionic action. It is also good for flower vases and especially good for the storage of such things as tea, which would deteriorate in anything less than an air-tight container due to high temperature and humidity. With 8 nationally recognized Master Craftsmen among the 21 employed, there are still 7 firms making a wide range of articles such as religious ornaments, and sake cups, expressive of this distinctive metal.


Sakai Forged Blades





Guns and tobacco were introduced into Japan in the middle of the 16th century by the Portuguese. By the end of that century, small tobacco knives were being forged in Sakai and the Tokugawa Shogunate awarded the forgers of Sakai a special seal of approval and guarantee of their quality. Sakai was also granted exclusive selling rights and the reputation of the cutting edge of Sakai forged blades spread throughout the land as a result. Then in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), the deba-bocho or pointed knife appeared and was followed by knives of every description, mainly used in the preparation of food.Japanese cooks have a complete range of kitchen knives for every purpose and most of those are said to have Sakai forged blades. The special feature of these knives is the finely ground edge and point and their reputation is as good as ever. There are now 215 firms employing 1,236 people, among whom 28 are government recognized Master Craftsmen sustaining and leading this craft.


Tokyo Silversmithery





This craft began during the 18th century with the emergence of three kinds of skilled workers of precious metals. First there was the shirogane-shi, who fashioned articles that were then skillfully chased by masters of this technique; and then there were skilled metal workers who made such things as combs, hairpins (kanzashi) and the decorative metal fittings for the portable shrines or mikoshi. The gold and silver mints in Edo contributed significantly to raising the level of skills of such artisans. Moreover, Edo was the center of politics, finance and culture, and were feudal lords were required to live for long periods. Consequently, silversmithery in particular developed with their patronage. Nowadays, many fine articles are being produced, mostly to traditional patterns.A confluence of so many skills, Tokyo silversmithery is of the highest quality, the epitome of beauty and durable besides. Also, because it is not made of a harmful substance, it can be used for so many kinds of containers, ornaments and other everyday household articles. Both wrought and chased articles are made. There are silver tea caddies, sake flasks, flower vases, ornaments and many other small household articles being made by 131 firms employing 417 people, 36 of whom are government recognized Master Craftsmen.


Yamagata Metal Casting





In the middle of the Heian period (794-1185), Minamoto Yoriyoshi fought a number of battles in the Yamagata area in an effort to quell various uprisings. The metal casters, who were part and parcel of the army and operations, discovered that the quality of the sand in the river flowing through Yamagata city and the earth in present-day Chitose park were ideal for casting. Some of those casters settled in the area and became the founders of Yamagata metal casting.The tea ceremony is perhaps most representative of Japanese culture and many chagama, the pots for boiling water in during the tea ceremony are produced in Yamagata. The lightness, perfect shape and furthermore, the fine delicate surface of the iron kettles, the bronze vases, the iron cooking pots and ornaments cast here are the result of outstanding and well applied techniques used in the making of these traditional craft pieces. Today there are 22 firms employing 118 people, among whom there are 14 government recognized Master Craftsmen.