Tue . 20 Jan 2020
TR | RU | UK | KK | BE |

Japanese craft

japanese crafts, japanese craftsmanship
Craft 工芸, kōgei, lit engineered art in Japan has a long tradition and history Included are handicraft by an individual or a group, and a craft is work produced by independent studio artists, working with traditional craft materials and/or processes


  • 1 Definition
  • 2 History
  • 3 Ceramics
  • 4 Textiles
  • 5 Lacquerware
  • 6 Wood and bamboo
  • 7 Metalwork
  • 8 Dolls
  • 9 Paper making
  • 10 Others
    • 101 Glass
    • 102 Cloisonné
    • 103 Gem carving
    • 104 Decorative metal cutting
    • 105 Inkstone carving
    • 106 Ivory carving
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links


According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the crafts 工芸技術, Kōgei Gijutsu are divided into eight categories: pottery 陶芸, tōgei, textiles, lacquerware, metalworking, dollmaking, woodworking, papermaking, and other The categories are subdivided into a number of more specific subcategories The Japan Kōgei Association concurs with these definitions The many variations are officially recognized and protected by the government Those working in crafts are eligible for recognition either individually Individual Certification or as part of a group Preservation Group Certification into the list of Living National Treasures of Japan crafts Some crafts enjoy status as meibutsu, or regional specialties

In order for an object to be officially recognized as a traditional Japanese craft, it must meet all five of these requirements:1

  • The item must be practical enough for regular use
  • The item must predominantly be handmade
  • The item must be crafted using traditional techniques
  • The item must be crafted using traditional materials
  • The item must be crafted at its place of origin

Each craft demands a set of specialized skills Japanese craft works serve a functional or utilitarian purpose, though they may be handled and exhibited similar to visual art objects


Craft dates back since humans settled on the Japanese islands Handicrafting has its roots in the rural crafts—the material-goods necessities—of ancient times Traditionally handicrafters used natural, indigenous materials, which continues to be emphasised today for the most part Traditionally objects were created to be used and not just to be placed Therefore the borders between craft and art was always not very clear Crafts were needed for all layers of society and became increasingly sophisticated in their design and execution Craft has close ties to folk art, however developed into fine art as well as the concept of wabi-sabi aesthetics developed Craftsmen and women therefore became artisans with increasing sophistication However wares were not just produced for domestic consumption, but at some point items such as ceramics made by studio craft were also produced for export and became an important pillar of the economy

Crafts were developed and taught to succeeding generations Dentō 伝 統 is in which systems of Japanese traditions were passed down within a teacher-student relationship shitei 師弟 It encompassed strict rules that had to be observed in order to enable learning and teaching of a way dō 道 The wisdom could be taught either orally Denshō 伝承, or in writing Densho 伝書 It was quite common that the mastery in certain crafts were passed down within the family from one generation to the next, establishing veritable dynasties In that case the established master's name was assumed instead of the personal one Should there be an absence of a male heir, a relative or a student could be adopted in order to continue the line and assume the prestigious name

With the end of the Edo period and the advent of the modern Meiji era, industrial production was introduced and western objects and styles were copied and started replacing the old On the fine art level, patrons such as the feudal daimyō lords were not able to support local artisans to the extent like in the past Although handmade Japanese craft used to be the dominant source of objects in daily life, the modern era and industrial production as well as import from abroad has pushed it to the sides of the economy Traditional craft began to wane and disappeared in many areas as tastes and production methods changed Forms such as swordmaking became obsolete Scholars such as Okakura Kakuzō wrote against the fashionable primacy of western art and founded the periodical Kokka 國華, lit Flower of the Nation draw attention to the issue Specific crafts that have been practiced for centuries were under increasing threat, while others however such as glassmaking were more recent developments introduced from the west and saw a rise

Although objects were put under protection by the imperial government as National Treasures, it took some time to recognise the intangible cultural properties In order to further protect traditional crafts and arts, the government instituted in 1890 the system of Imperial Household Artist 帝室技芸員, Teishitsu Gigei-in, given to an artist who was officially appointed to create works of art for the Tokyo Imperial Palace and other imperial residences These artists were considered most famous and prestigious and worked in the areas such as painting, ceramics, and lacquer ware Although this system of patronage offered some kind of protection to them, other crafts on the folk art level were left exposed The mingei 民芸, "folk arts" or "arts of the people" was the folk art movement that developed in the late 1920s and 1930s in reaction to this development Its founding father was Yanagi Sōetsu 1889–1961 The philosophical pillar of mingei is "hand-crafted art of ordinary people" 民衆的な工芸 minshū-teki-na kōgei Yanagi Sōetsu discovered beauty in everyday ordinary and utilitarian objects created by nameless and unknown craftsmen

The Second World War left the country devastated and craft suffered as a result The government introduced a new system of Living National Treasure to recognise and protect individual craftspeople on the fine art and folk art level, as well as groups To be included in the list came with financial support as well to train new generations of artisans so that the art forms would continue The national government instituted in 1950 the intangible cultural properties This is given for cultural property considered of high historical or artistic value of craft techniques The term refers exclusively to human skills possessed by individuals or groups which are indispensable to produce Cultural Properties It has also taken a further step to inscribe for example in 2009 yūki-tsumugi into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists Prefectural governments also have their own system of recognising and protecting local crafts, as well as on the municipal level Although the government has taken steps to protect the traditional arts and crafts, on the private sector artisans continue to stay under challenge to stay true to tradition but at the same time be able to interpret old forms and create new ideas in order to survive and stay relevant to private customers They also face the dilemma of an ageing society where knowledge is not passed down to enough pupils of the younger generation, which means dentō teacher-pupil relationship within families breaks down if a successor is not found2 As the societal rules are changing and becoming more relaxed, the traditional patriarchal system is forced to undergo changes as well In the past males were predominantly the holders of master' titles in the most prestigious crafts Ceramist Tokuda Yasokichi IV is the first female to succeed as a master following her father, since he did not have any sons and was unwilling to adopt a male heir Despite the modernisation and westernisation, a number of forms and traditions still exist, partly due to the close connectivity they have with traditions and art forms such as the continued practice of the Japanese tea ceremony, ikebana, and to a degree martial arts in the case of swordmaking for example

The Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition 日本伝統工芸展 takes place every year in order to exhibit and reach out to the public3 In 2015, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York exhibited a number of modern kōgei artists in an effort to also introduce Japanese craft to an international audience45


Japanese pottery and porcelain 陶磁器, Jp tojiki; also 焼きもの, Jp yakimono; 陶芸, Jp tōgei, is one of the country's oldest art forms, dates back to the Neolithic period Kilns have produced earthenware, pottery, stoneware, glazed pottery, glazed stoneware, porcelain, and blue-and-white ware Japan has an exceptionally long and successful history of ceramic production Earthenwares were created as early as the Jōmon period 10,000-300 BCE, giving Japan one of the oldest ceramic traditions in the world Japan is further distinguished by the unusual esteem that ceramics holds within its artistic tradition, owing to the enduring popularity of the tea ceremony

Some of the recognised techniques of Japanese ceramic craft are:6

  • Iro-e 色絵, colour painting
  • Neriage 練上げ, using different colours of clay together
  • Sansai 三彩, three colours of brown, green, and a creamy off-white
  • Saiyū 彩釉, glaze technique with dripping effect
  • Seihakuji 青白磁, a form of blue-white hakuji porcelain
  • Sometsuke 染付, blue and white pottery
  • Tetsu-e 鉄絵, also known as Tetsugusuri, iron glazing
  • Yūri-kinsai 釉裏金彩, metal-leaf application
  • Zōgan 象嵌, damascening and champlevé

There are many different types of Japanese ware Those more identified as being close to the craft movement include:7

Coil-built Tokoname stoneware with ash glaze Kamakura period, 14th century
  • Bizen ware 備前焼, from Imbe in Bizen province
  • Hagi ware 萩焼, from Hagi, Yamaguchi prefecture
  • Hasami ware 波佐見焼, from Hasami, Nagasaki prefecture
  • Kakiemon 柿右衛門, porcelain developed by Sakaida Kakiemon in Arita, Saga prefecture
  • Karatsu ware 唐津焼, from Karatsu, Saga prefecture
  • Kutani ware 九谷焼, from Kutani, Ishikawa prefecture
  • Mashiko ware 益子焼, from Mashiko, Tochigi prefecture
  • Mumyōi ware 無名異焼, from Sado, Niigata prefecture
  • Onta ware 小鹿田焼, from Onta, Ōita prefecture
  • Setoguro 瀬戸黒, from Seto, Aichi prefecture
  • Shigaraki ware 信楽焼, from Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture
  • Shino ware 志野焼, from Mino province
  • Tokoname ware 常滑焼, from Tokoname, Aichi prefecture
  • Tsuboya ware 壺屋焼, from Ryūkyū Islands


Textile crafts include silk, hemp, and cotton, woven after spinning and dyeing in forms from timeless folk designs to complex court patterns Village crafts that evolved from ancient folk traditions also continued in weaving and indigo dyeing in Hokkaidō by the Ainu people, whose distinctive designs have prehistoric prototypes, and by other remote farming families in northern Japan

Textiles were used primarily for Japanese clothing and include furisode, jūnihitoe, kimono, sokutai, yukata, obi, and many other items Headgear can include kanzashi Footwear such as geta need textiles as well

The different techniques for dyeing designs onto fabric are:8

Yūzen detail of a kimono
  • Yūzen 友禅染
  • Katae-zome 型絵染
  • Edo komon 江戸小紋
  • Nagaita chugata 長板中形
  • Mokuhan-zome 木版染

The weaving technique for dyed threads to make fabric are:9

  • Kasuri-ori 絣織
  • Pongee 紬織
  • Echigo jofu 越後上布
  • Saga-nishiki brocade 佐賀錦
  • Kumihimo braid-making 組紐
  • embroidery 刺繍

Amongst the more well-known regional types are:10

  • Nishijin-ori 西陣織, silk from Nishijin, Kyoto city
  • Yūki-tsumugi 結城紬, silk from Yūki, Ibaraki prefecture
  • Kumejima-tsumugi 久米島紬, silk from Kumejima, Okinawa
  • Kagayūzen 加賀友禅, dyeing from Kaga, Ishikawa prefecture
  • Kyōyūzen 京友禅, dyeing from Kyoto


Writing lacquer box by Ogata Kōrin, Edo period National Treasure

Japanese lacquerware can be traced to prehistoric finds Lacquer ware is most often made from wooden objects, which receive multiple layers of refined lac juices, each of which must dry before the next is applied These layers make a tough skin impervious to water damage and to resist breakage, providing lightweight, easy-to-clean utensils of every sort The decoration on such lacquers, whether carved through different colored layers or in surface designs, applied with gold or inlaid with precious substances, has been a prized art form since the Nara period AD 710-94 See also Lacquerwarecitation needed

Items produced are for daily necessities like bowls and trays, but also tea ceremony utensils such as chaki tea caddies and kōgō incense containers Items include in the past were also netsuke and inrō Lacquerware is closely entwined with wood and bamboo work

Material is either wood, but bamboo 藍胎 rantai or linen 乾漆 kanshitsu can also be used11

The different techniques to coat and paint are:12

  • Urushi-e 漆絵, which is the oldest and most basic decorative technique
  • Maki-e 蒔絵
  • Raden 螺鈿
  • Chinkin 沈金
  • Kinma 蒟醤
  • Choshitsu 彫漆
  • Hiramon 平文
  • Rankaku 卵殻
  • Kamakura-bori 鎌倉彫

Amongst the more well-known types are:13

  • Wajima-nuri 輪島塗, lacquerware from Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture
  • Tsugaru-nuri 津軽塗, lacquerware from Tsugaru region around Hirosaki, Aomori prefecture

Wood and bambooedit

Wood and bamboo have a place in Japanese art and history since the beginning Secular and religious buildings were made out of this material as well as items used for the household Japanese carpentry has a long tradition Items that are produced are normally dishes and boxes

Other items of woodwork are yosegi and the making of furniture such as tansu Japanese tea ceremony is closely entwined with bamboo work for spoons, and woodwork and lacquerware for natsume

Types of woodwork include:14

  • Sashimono 指物
  • Kurimono 刳物
  • Hikimono 挽物
  • Magemono 曲物
Japanese basket showing the kagome pattern

Bamboowork implements are produced for tea ceremony, ikebana flower arrangement and interior goods The types of bamboowork are:15

  • Amimono 編物
  • Kumimono 組物

The art of basket weaving such as kagomedisambiguation needed 籠目 is well known; its name is composed from the words kago, meaning "basket", and me, meaning "eyes", referring to the pattern of holes in a woven basket It is a weaved arrangement of laths composed of interlaced triangles such that each point where two laths cross has four neighboring points, forming the pattern of a trihexagonal tiling The weaved process gives the Kagome a chiral wallpaper group symmetry, p6, 632

Other materials such as reeds can also be included Neko Chigura is a traditional form of weaving baskets for cats

Amongst the more well-known types are:16

  • Hakoneyosegizaiku 箱根寄木細工, wooden marquetry from Hakone, Ashigarashimo district, and Odawara, Kanagawa prefecture
  • Iwayadotansu 岩谷堂箪笥, wooden chests of drawers, from Oshu, Iwate prefecture


Early Japanese iron-working techniques date back to the 2-3rd century BCE Japanese swordsmithing is of extremely high quality and greatly valued These swords originated before the 1st century BC and reached their height of popularity as the chief possession of warlords and samurai The production of a sword has retained something of the religious quality it once had in embodying the soul of the samurai and the martial spirit of Japancitation needed Swordsmithing is considered a separate art form and moved beyond the craft it once started out as

Items for daily use were also made out of metal and a whole section of craft developed around it

Casting is creating the form by melting The techniques include:17

  • Rogata 蝋型
  • Sogata 惣型
  • Komegata 込型

Another for is smithing 鍛金, which is creating forms by beating

To create various patterns on the surface, metal carving is used to apply decorative designs The techniques include carving 彫り, metal inlay 象嵌, and embossing 打ち出し18

Amongst the more well-known types are:19

  • Nambutekki 南部鉄器, ironware from Morioka and Oshu, Iwate prefecture
  • Takaoka Doki 高岡銅器, copperware from Takaoka, Toyama prefecture


Hinamatsuri dolls of the emperor and empress

There are various types of traditional Japanese dolls 人形, ningyō, lit "human form", some representing children and babies, some the imperial court, warriors and heroes, fairy-tale characters, gods and rarely demons, and also people of the daily life of Japanese cities Many have a long tradition and are still made today, for household shrines, for formal gift-giving, or for festival celebrations such as Hinamatsuri, the doll festival, or Kodomo no Hi, Children's Day Some are manufactured as a local craft, to be purchased by pilgrims as a souvenir of a temple visit or some other trip

There are four different base materials used to make dolls:20

  • Wooden dolls 木彫人形21
  • Toso dolls 桐塑人形, made out of toso, a substance made out of paulownia sawdust mixed with paste that creates a clay-like substance22
  • Harinuki dolls 張抜人形, made out of papier-mache23
  • Totai dolls 陶胎人形, made out of ceramic24

The painting or application techniques are:25

  • Nunobari 布貼り
  • Kimekomi 木目込み26
  • Hamekomi 嵌込み27
  • Kamibari 紙貼り28
  • Saishiki 彩色29
  • Saicho 彩彫30

Known types are for example Hakata ningyō 博多人形31

Paper makingedit

The Japanese art of making paper from the mulberry plant called washi 和紙 is thought to have begun in the 6th century AD Dyeing paper with a wide variety of hues and decorating it with designs became a major preoccupation of the Heian court, and the enjoyment of beautiful paper and its use has continued thereafter, with some modern adaptations The traditionally made paper called Izumo after the shrine area where it is made was especially desired for fusuma sliding panels decoration, artists' papers, and elegant letter paper Some printmakers have their own logo made into their papers, and since the Meiji period, another special application has been Western marbleized end papers made by the Atelier Miura in Tokyocitation needed



Glass bowl, Kofun period, 6th century, perhaps from the tomb of Emperor Ankan, in Habikino, Osaka

The tradition of glass production goes back far in history into the Kofun period, but was used very rarely and more for decorative purposes such as being included in hairneedles Only relatively late in the Edo period did it experience increased popularity and with the beginning of the modernisation during the Meiji era did large-scale industrial production of glassware commence Nevertheless glass continues to exist as a craft, for example Edokiriko 江戸切子 The various techniques used are:32

  • Glassblowing 吹きガラス
  • Cut glass 切子
  • Gravure グラヴィール
  • Pâte de verre パート・ド・ヴェール
  • Enameling エナメル絵付け


Vase with Flowering Cherry and Birds by Ando Cloisonné Company, circa 1910

Cloisonné 截金, shippō is a glass-like glaze that is applied on a metal framework, and then fired in a kiln33 It developed especially in Owari province around Nagoya in the late Edo period and going into the Meiji era One of the leading traditional producing companies that still exist is the Ando Cloisonné Company

Techniques of shippō include:

  • Yusen-shippō 有線七宝34
  • Shotai-shippō 省胎七宝35
  • Doro-shippō 泥七宝36

Gem carvingedit

Gem carving 砡, gyoku is carving naturally patterned agate or various hard crystals into tea bowls and incense containers37

Decorative metal cuttingedit

Kirikane 截金 is a decorative technique used for paintings and Buddhist statues, which applies gold leaf, silver leaf, platinum leaf cut into geometric patterns of lines, diamonds and triangles38

Inkstone carvingedit

Calligraphy is considered one of the classical refinements and art forms The production on inkstone was therefore greatly valued39

Ivory carvingedit

Bachiru 撥鏤 is the art of engraving and dyeing ivory40

See alsoedit

  • Category:Intangible Cultural Properties of Japan for a full listing of protected crafts on the national, prefectural, and municipal levels


  1. ^ https://wwwselect-japannet
  2. ^ http://wsimagcom/architecture-and-design/4457-shippo-cloisonne-radiance-of-japan
  3. ^ http://ichinen-fourseasonsinjapanblogspotch/2016/09/the-63rd-japan-traditional-kogeihtml
  4. ^ http://madmuseumorg/exhibition/japanese-k%C5%8Dgei-future-forward
  5. ^ http://wwwarchitecturaldigestcom/gallery/japanese-kogei-future-forward-mad-museum/all
  6. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/ceramics/
  7. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/ceramics/
  8. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/textiles/
  9. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/textiles/
  10. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/textiles/
  11. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/urushiwork/
  12. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/urushiwork/
  13. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/urushiwork/
  14. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/wood-bamboowork/
  15. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/wood-bamboowork/
  16. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/wood-bamboowork/
  17. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/metalwork/
  18. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/metalwork/
  19. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/metalwork/
  20. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/dolls/
  21. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/dolls/60101/
  22. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/dolls/60102/
  23. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60105
  24. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60106
  25. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/dolls/
  26. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60202
  27. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60204
  28. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60206
  29. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60207
  30. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=6&technique_category=60208
  31. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/dolls/hakataningyo/
  32. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/otherwork/
  33. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/otherwork/
  34. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/subject_category=7&technique_category=70101
  35. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/sort=2&subject_category=7&technique_category=70104
  36. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/work/list/sort=2&subject_category=7&technique_category=70103
  37. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/otherwork/70304/
  38. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/otherwork/
  39. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/otherwork/
  40. ^ http://galleryjapancom/locale/en_US/technique/otherwork/
  •  This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2locgov/frd/cs/ – Japan

External linksedit

  • http://wwwnihonkogeikaiorjp/
  • http://wwwkogeistandardcom/
  • http://wwwveniceclayartistscom/kogei-japanese-art-crafts/
  • http://wwwjapantimescojp/news/2010/11/05/national/kogei-get-western-art-worlds-attention/

japanese craft beer, japanese craft books, japanese craft for kids, japanese craft ideas, japanese craft of wrapping presents, japanese craft paper, japanese craft store, japanese craft supplies, japanese crafts, japanese craftsmanship

Japanese craft Information about

Japanese craft

  • user icon

    Japanese craft beatiful post thanks!


Japanese craft
Japanese craft
Japanese craft viewing the topic.
Japanese craft what, Japanese craft who, Japanese craft explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts



A book is a set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or...
Boston Renegades

Boston Renegades

Boston Renegades was an American women’s soccer team, founded in 2003 The team was a member of the U...
Sa Caleta Phoenician Settlement

Sa Caleta Phoenician Settlement

Sa Caleta Phoenician Settlement can be found on a rocky headland about 10 kilometers west of Ibiza T...


Bodybuildingcom is an American online retailer based in Boise, Idaho, specializing in dietary supple...