2016/10/04 (Tue)/ Experience
Japan is land of the master craftsman and aristisans perfecting their trade. The Japanese continue and refine skills and techniques developed over centuries. Flower arrangement, archery, pottery, landscaping, and woodwork are just some of the examples. Yosegi zaiku is a wonderful example of a Japanese trade still being honed to this day.
In the forested mountains of Hakone that is the small village of Hatajuku. The workers and craftsmen of the town have used the surrounding natural beauty as inspiration and a resource to create the beautiful wood working technique known as Hakone Yosegi Zaiku.
Hakone Yosegi Zaiku can be described as inlaid wood artistry. No dyes or stains are used, rather the artisans choose from the many different types of trees in the area to create different colors and textures in their art. The Hakone Yosegi Zaiku are characterized by their intricate and complex geometric patterns made from bonding and cutting different types of wood.
The process can take days and even weeks to cut, fit, and carve pieces of yosegi art. The thin strips of wood are bonded together to make a large block of natural beauty made up of many different shades and colors. This block is sometimes shaved into thin layers to provide a beautiful sheet of designed wood. There are a number of places in the Hatajuku area that offer experiences for those looking to get hands on with this beautiful craft. The number of "masters" is declining, but there has been a recent rejuvenation or the craft and uses by a small group of young craftsman. We hope you take the time to appreciate and enjoy this wonderful art. There are shops selling unique yosegi pieces throughout Hakone.
Hakone Maruyama Crafthouse http://www.hakonemaruyama.co.jp/about_yosegi-e.htm
Izumiya Crafthouse http://yosegijapan.com