Shogawa woodcraft Photo:Toyama Prefecture

Shogawa woodcraft Shogawa hikimono kiji

Attractive natural wood grain patterns
Warm texture of wood with simplicity and beauty

Description

What is Shogawa woodcraft ?

Shogawa Hikimono Kiji are woodcraft goods, such as bowls, trays, and the like made in a wide area of Toyama Prefecture, including Takaoka City and Tonami City, Toyama Prefecture. As simple and beautiful traditional craftwork utilizing wood, Shogawa Hikimono Kiji were designated as a traditional craft of the country by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in 1978.
Shogawa Hikimono Kiji mainly use Japanese zelkova, a beautiful wood with a unique figure grain. In the making of items, logs are sawn in a longitudinal direction and processed, so that the figure grain runs laterally, allowing a clear display of the grain. Even two items of the same type will appear very different, as they will have been made from different trees; a characteristic making choosing pieces very enjoyable. Shogawa Hikimono Kiji develop a unique character and the sheen and colors change with time and use.
At present, there are two main types of Shogawa Hikimono Kiji: plain-wood and urushi lacquer. In recent years, there is an increasing demand for unpolished plain-wood products by enthusiasts who like to apply their own coating themselves.

History

At the end of the 16th century, the Kaga clan lords were ruling an area around present-day Kanazawa City and starting to transport Japanese cypress and Japanese zelkova along the Sho River leading to Toyama Bay. This new trade is said to have led to the subsequent development of Shogawa Hikimono Kiji, as before long, driftwood lost in transit was washed up in a basin in Shogawa Town.
Sometime in the late Edo Period, in an attempt to make the most of this timber, the production of plain-wood products was tried and proved a success. In the Meiji Period, a potter's wheel was used for planing and this heralded the start of the craft known today. It is said to take ten years of practice to be able to competently operate a potter's wheel and make Shogawa Hikimono Kiji. For this reason, at that time many artisans began training immediately after they finished compulsory elementary school education.
In the Showa Period, the market of Shogawa Hikimono Kiji expanded across the whole country, and even today the traditional manufacturing skills are still preserved, and these beautiful pieces of woodcraft are much appreciated nationwide.

General Production Process

Where to Buy & More Information

Shogawa Tokusankan

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