Hidetaka kakefuda is the third line of the Kyoto Kakefuda, a dye house which specializes in made to order “Furoshiki”, wrapping cloth. Mr. Kakefuda was born in 1977 in Kyoto. He entered Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996, majoring initially in Sculpture, later changing to Conceptual and Media Art. He started helping the family business while still a university student. After seeing the family crest book handed down in his family, he took a strong interest in traditional patterns and succeeded to the family business upon his graduation.
In 2004, Mr. Kakefuda undertook the design and production of the cotton furoshiki to be used as a complementary gift for the name-taking ceremony of Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII. With this as a beginning, the following year he announced his new line of cotton furoshiki with Japanese traditional patterns such as Karakusa and Kamekou. “I wanted create furoshiki that everybody can use casually as a start”, Mr. Kakufuda says in a relaxed tone. Since 2005, he continues to produce new types of furoshiki based on Japanese traditional patterns, a style sometimes referred to as “Japanese Modern”.
The making of bronze gongs was introduced to present-day Ishikawa Prefecture about 400 years ago and it has become a traditional handicraft of the prefecture since then. The origin of the instrument is said to be in the percussion instruments in the ancient southern islands of Java and Sumatra. Later the gong came to Japan through China and Korean Peninsula. In Japan, they were mainly used as the signal for a start on a voyage and the tea ceremony. In Ishikawa Prefecture, gong manufacturing developed as tea ceremony gained popularity in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1598).
It was Iraku Uozumi (1886-1964) who devoted himself to gong making in Kanazawa. He got absorbed in the study on sahari (alloy of copper and tin) casting and succeeded in creating gongs with superb resonance. He was designated as a Living National Treasure.
The pivotal point of a gong is its tone quality. The material used in bronze gong is sahari, or alloy of copper and tin. Sahari is one of the most difficult metals to alloy and the balance of composition decides the resonance quality. At the present time, the 3rd Iraku Uozumi has succeeded to the traditional techniques.
Ikuji-naka Bridge spans the Kurobe Fishing Harbor and is the first bridge in Japan that rotates to the side on a fixed axis. The current bridge is actually the 4th-generation version. The original was installed during the Taisho period, with the 2nd built during the early Showa period, and the 3rd during the 30s in the Showa period.
The 3rd generation was installed as an elevating bridge. Due to deterioration and the increase in size of fishing boats, the canal where the bridge was installed was expanded, and the third bridge was rebuilt as part of the general reconstruction.
The new fixed-axis bridge, which was completed in Showa 56, is what spans the canal today. The bridge is 38.4m long, 7m wide, and weighs 307 tons. The bridge can turn up to 78 degrees, and on a busy day, opens between 15 and 20 times.
Kakou Moriguchi was born in 1909 in Moriyama district, Shiga prefecture. In 1921, he studied pharmacy at night school. In 1924, he became the student of the 3rd yuzen dyeing master, Kason Nakagawa, and studied the Japanese art of hikita houshou.
Until he established a studio in 1939, he remained in the atelier of Kason, where he made further studies of yuzen. Later, he blended typical makinori techniques inherited from the Edo period and urusshi-no-makie. The blend Moriguchi created is called 'makinori' and has become representative of his work. It has both a traditional Kyoto flavor and a contemporary one. As a result, he has given something new and original to yuzen.
In 1956, he entered three makinori yuzen kimonos: 'Oshidori', 'Soushun' and 'Matsu' to the 2nd Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Art Crafts and all of them won a prize. For the 3rd Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Art Crafts, his yuzen kimono 'Kaoru' again won a prize. Consequently, he was elected to be the judge of the competition.
In 1968, when only 57, he became the holder of an important intangible cultural asset. He is one of Japan's Living National Treasures.
Zuiryu-ji Temple is located in Takaoka district, Toyama prefecture. The highly-appraised zenshuyou architecture of this temple dates back to the early Edo period. The temple is famous as having the longest cloister in Japan.
The 3rd Lord of Kaga, Maeda Toshitsune, founded the temple in memory of his ancestor, Maeda Toshinaga. In the 17th century, Toshinaga was known as Akeno. He established a castle in the uninhabited area, and brought merchants and people to help establish the town and work the land. Consequently, he acquired an enormous posession.
Toshitsune, who inherited all this, felt it his duty to establish a temple, and built it with the support of Yamashita-Zenemon-Yoshihiro. It took about 20 years to build, and today has a magnificent appearance that astonishes visitors.
Today, the Buddhist sanctuary, lecture hall and gate have been designated as national treasures. In addition, the main entrance gate, meditation hall, hallway, the semi-enclosed corridor and the tea room have been designated as important cultural properties.
Born 1932 in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Pref.. His family runs the Nishikiyama kiln which specializes in Akae Kinrande of Kutani pottery. Mr. Yoshida started learning pottery techniques while in high school. By 1951, he took over the family business, becoming the third generation of his family working with the Nishikiyama kiln and worked hard to learn and refine many ceramic working techniques including traditional Uwaetsuke, an overglazing enamel painting method, and Kinrande.
In 1972, inspired by Yuuri-kinsai, an underglazed gold decorative porcelain, created by Hajime Kato, the highly renowned ceramic artist, also designated as a Living National Treasure, he began studying and creating his own pieces using the Yurikinsai technique. In this method gold leaf and gold clay are used to draw the motif, then applied and covered with a layer of glaze and fired. After much trial and error and many years of refinement, he perfected innovative techniques including applying colored glazing to the surface of the vessel and the application of gold leaf. His techniques opened up a new frontier in the world of gold color ceramics and, with its sophistication and perfection, Mr. Yoshida is regarded as the leading figure in this field.
In 2000, he was awarded Hojisha-sho from Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Art Craft and, the following year, Medal of Purple Ribbon, and designated as a Living National Treasure.
Graceful beauty marrying gold leaf and original clay color and the elegant world of leaf and flower patterns are highly acclaimed as a style that has elevated the art of ceramic work to a greater level of sophistication.
Hashimoto Yakichi shouten is a craft studio that has for many years hand made koinobori or carp-shaped streamers. The studio opened in the 14th year of the Meiji period and now, as the third master, Takashi Hashimoto makes the koinobori. Hashimoto Yakichi shouten is the only studio that makes koinobori by hand in the Saitama prefecture Kazo area. Kazo is the foremost area for koinobori production in Japan. There are reasons for making koinobori by hand. The first reason is thata handcrafted koinobori ha an original "feel" that makes it different from a machine-made one. In addition to the special "feel", a hand-made koinobori uses special pigments that do not discolor easily. Moreover, a hand-made koinobori is made of nylon and not cotton because when it is raised, it looks more powerful. On the other hand, the studio's principle is "Changing tradition slightly is one way to maintain tradition". From this belief, the studio has been successfully creating koinobori that fit the demands of present-day society, in addition to the "bushuu" koinobori that have been continuously made since the studio was founded. Animated and powerful koinobori will be seen flying this year again, in many parts of Japan.