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Traditional Art Crafts of Fukushima Prefecture
Fukushima Prefecture passed down many traditional crafts produced throughout history and with unique technique. The Crafts of each region have distinctive features, and recently most of them have been reevaluated as ones exerting good points of natural materials.
As Fukushima Prefecture provides high quality timbers, woodwork crafts taking advantage of materials have been widely used as daily commodities from the old days. Aizu Lacquerware which began in 1590 in line with the development of the Aizu Clan, is one of the most famous traditional industries, and particularly, Kingin Nashiji Nuri (Gold and Silver lacquer against a background of pear color) is highly valued and renowned in Japan. Also, Magewappa (bowl made by thinning wood), which has been passed down in Hinoemata, and the traditional furniture of Nihonmatsu City, which makes use of zelkova tree’s grains are very famous in Japan. We also have folk craft toys made of wood, such as “Miharugoma (wooden horse)” of Miharu Town and “Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Doll” of Fukushima City.
Aizu Hongo Pottery is the oldest pottery in the Tohoku District with a history of 400 years. It started when then Lord of Aizu invited potters from Owari Seto to initiate this industry, and its technology is still handed down by dozens of potteries in the town. Oborisoma Pottery is one of the traditional crafts of the Coastal Region, and the pottery made in Soma City is called ‘Soma Koma Pottery’, and the pottery made in Namie Town is called ‘Obori Soma Pottery‘. It originated in the old days, featuring ‘blue cracks’ and ‘a running horse’ on the surface of the pottery. Nihonmatsu Manko Pottery is a rare pottery on which potters make patterns with their fingers and hands.
‘Kawamata Habutae (Silk)’ has been made since the middle of the 6th century in Kawamata Town, featuring a soft gloss and a feather-like texture. Aizugo Karamushi Ori, which is weaved with the fibers of a plant called Karamushi (Ramie) of Showa Village, is famous. Karamushia which is the material of the textile is still cultivated in the same way as applied 600 years ago. Also, Enobori of 4 to 7 meters in length is a flag with a picture of Samurai and Gods, and kept as a traditional craft to celebrate a boy’s birth.
Washi (Japanese Paper)
In Fukushima Prefecture with clear and pure water, beautiful hand-made papers have been manufactured from the old days. Recently, the unique texture of Washi was reevaluated, and Kamikawasaki of Adachi Town with a tradition of 1,000 years in Washi making became the model of a novel. Also, Japanese Paper Dolls of Iwaki City are known as one of the representative Washi products of Fukushima Prefecture. Besides, the paper crafts of Miharu, the Akabeko (Red Cow) of Aizu Wakamatsu City and Shirakawa Daruma of Shirakawa City are famous as traditional crafts made of paper in Japan.