There are a lot of charming handcrafts made with traditional techniques in Hiroshima. Here are 5 traditional handcrafts in Hiroshima that you would like to bring home as a souvenir!
1. Miyajima Hariko (Miyajima Mingei Studio)
Around 1600 to 1800, people in Miyajima were making decorative Japanese papier-mache masks for their traditional festivals. The techniques developed by those people are now used to make artworks. More than 60% of the artworks are designed with a motif of bird. In the perimeter of just 30km, there are about 136 kinds of wild birds living in Miyajima, and this peculiar environment is one of the things that can be attributed to the trend in the artworks. Also, Japanese paper masks are usually made by attaching washi (Japanese paper) to a wooden mold, but the papier-mache masks in Miyajima are made by attaching washi to the inside of a plaster mold, so they have a smooth and beautiful shape. Each and every piece is handmade. Enjoy the unique beauty of Miyajima Hariko with your own hands.
The Miyajima Hariko by Miyajima Mingei Kobo in the image below can be purchased in Miyajima Souvenir Shop Funatsuki.
2. Miyajima Shakushi (Miyajima Kogei Seisakusho)
The origin of shakushi (bamboo rice scoop called shamoji in other parts of Japan) making in Miyajima dates back to the late 1700s, when ascetic monks taught it to people who were suffering from poverty in Miyajima. Later, Miyajima shakushi became popular throughout the country, as Miyajima shakushi made with sacred wood allegedly brought fortune to people who eat with it. Today, It is still a popular cookware made of natural cherry with no coating. The red color of the cherry wood gets deeper and smoother as you use it. The more you use it, the more beautiful it gets, and that's what's interesting about Miyajima shakushi. Apart from cooking use, there are other types of shakushi such as ones for gifts and decorative ones that are 150cm long, so be sure to check them out.
Like Miyajima Hariko, the Miyajima Shakushi in the image below can be purchased in Miyajima Souvenir Shop Funatsuki.
3. Kendama (Iwata Mokko)
In 1918, kendama were created in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima. Later, a carpentry in the city succeeded in the first ever mass production of kendama. In the prime, about 400,000 kendama was produced in a year, and the city produced 70% of the whole production of kendama. Iwata Mokko was founded in Hatsukaichi and has its own kendama brand, "Mugen Musou." Their products are valued at a high price in auctions and praised in and out of the country. With coloring techniques with more than 40 different colors and traditional woodworking skills, they elevated the Hiroshima-born traditional handcraft, kendama, to something considered to be art. Leading the whole traditional handcraft industry in Hiroshima.
The kendama by Iwata Carpentry in the image can be purchased in the carpentry's direct retail, Kendama Shop yume.
4. Kumano Brush (Kumano Fude Select Shop)
Kumano plays a dominant role in the domestic production of brushes in Japan. In 1975, Kumano brushes were registered as a national traditional handcraft, and with that method, the town produces various kinds of brushes such as writing brushes and make-up brushes. Out of all the kinds of Kumano brushes there are, ink brushes and Japanese painting brushes made in Kumano with methods and materials that have been passed on for more than a hundred years are especially considered to be "the traditional handcraft: Kumano brush." In recent years, the make-up brushes and their quality have been praised in and out of the country, which shows that the brush-making techniques of Kumano has been passed down from generation to generation.
Kumano brushes can be purchased in each Kumano Fude select shops including the one at Hiroshima Station shinkansen gate.
* the image is for illustration purposes only
Kumano Brush (Kumano Brush select shop main store)
5. Miyajima Yaki (Ochi Pottery)
Miyajima Yaki is one of the pottery genres produced in Miyajima area. Particularly popular is the ceramic bell called "dorei"(clay bell). The image below is a dorei of deer and monkey and the lovely sound it makes is believed to bring good fortune. The sight of monkey sitting on the back of deer was often seen in Miyajima when wild monkeys were still around. It is a motif now and continues to entertain people. How about checking out this adorable lucky charm of Miyajima?
The deer bell dorei by Ochi pottery in the image below can be purchased in Miyajima Hiranoya.
It would be great if you could find a favorite souvenir of Hiroshima to take home!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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