Knives used to carve them are specialized tools called “satou” or “hidari-ba” which are more like tiny scrapers than knives. They look like dental picks for mythical creatures to be used by monstrous dentists. I acquired my first set of satou knives from master carver Kazuaki Nakamura but I needed a knife suited to my individual needs: One that was curved in the opposite direction to the knife included in the set.
One such art is Maki-e, (蒔絵) a traditional Japanese lacquer painting. Maki means “sprinkling” and e means "picture". It is the most basic technique of a pattern of lacquerware making that is traditionally painted on plates, trays, mirrors, cups, boxes and other objects made from bamboo or wood, but also sometimes paper, leather or basket materials.
Do you like pottery? Do you want to test out your slab building-skills or get a special souvenir to bring back home? Look no further than Kobushi Kiln, the oldest pottery kiln in Hokkaido. Kobushi Kiln is a three-generation family kiln that was opened in 1946.
Be amazed at how the workers are very dedicated in creating nothing but perfect quality products worthy of the company name.
Manufacture of the katana using traditional methods, along the lines of those practiced by legendary swordsmiths such as Muramasa from the 15th century onwards, is a highly complicated and time consuming process.
Nestled on the Chita Peninsula in Aichi prefecture is Tokoname, an ancient pottery town decorated with ceramic-lined pathways and a fortune cat (Manekineko) trail.
For those in Gifu Prefecture who are seeking a day-out that is architecturally unique, filled with natural wonder and equal parts baffling and fun: look no further than the 'Site of Reversible Destiny' located within Yoro Park. A truly unique experience.
One of the most pleasant surprises to emerge from my countryside break was to be introduced to some of Japan’s most beautiful, creative and inspiring works of traditional, hand-made art.