Inden is Japanese traditional lacquered deer hide craft products. The technique is said to have been introduced from India during the Heian period (794−1192). They have been made in the Koshu region (the present Yamanashi pref.) because, surrounded by mountains, a lot of deer inhabited in this area and also abundant supply of urushi lacquer was possible. The typical technique is called “Urushituke,” in which the stencil (made of fine Japanese paper with hand-curved patterns) is laid on the dyed hide and the lacquer is forced through the stencil with a spatula. When the stencil is removed, the raised glowing patterns appear on the hide. The oldest Inden shop, Inden-Ya, was established in 1582 by the first Yushichi Uehara. Since then the secret process of the making of Inden has been handed down within the family of Inden-Ya. As it fits to a human body and very durable, it was favored as parts for samurai armor at first. Later in the Edo period other items such as purses or wallets began to be made and favored as articles of both utility and adornment. Inden articles made by Inden-Ya are still very appealing to people in the present days.
- 3-11-15 Chuuou, Koufu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, 400-0032