YOSEGI parquetry woodcraft ----- the traditional crafts along the Old Tokaido Road

query_builder 2021/09/11
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YOSEGI


Konnichiwa!  Hallo everyone!

Do you know YOSEGI parquetry woodcraft in Japan? It is a very detailed traditional craft that is famous along the Old Tokaido Road, especially Hakone area.

The old Tokaido Road was the main walking trail between Tokyo and Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. It was an important road for samurai, officials and merchants during Edo period (1603~1868).

If you want to walk the whole trail, it is about 514 km and it will probably take you around 21 days, and what makes us surprise is..... our shop owner challenged to walk all the way through on foot!!!! He made it from September 1st to 23rd.


If you are interested in, please check out his YouTube channel and subscribe it! 
(Now only Japanese subtitles is available)

YouTube【火縄銃男子・武士の生活】 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWi-kFNlC-8BO5bzmDV9kkA


So let's move back about YOSEGI parquetry traditional crafts along the Old Tokaido Road!!!



【What is YOSEGI craft?】
YOSEGI parquetry woodcraft is made in Hakone town of Odawara City in the Western Kanagawa Prefecture.


"YOSEGI" means "combined wood". This is a technique of creating patterns by joining wood together.

It is said that YOSEGI had developed in the end of Edo period (1750~1850) so it has a history of over 200 years.

This traditional craft has been produced in Hakone town because there are various kinds of wood in Mt. Hakone.



Our owner said "the Mt. Hakone hiking was the most tough part of this trail! I had many nightmares of slipping and falling in the mountain...."




Thanks to the wealthy in forest resources, YOSEGI technique had been developed in this area.

The color is depending on the type of tree. Craftsman understands each tree's color and  grain so that they can produce beautiful geometrical figures.


Its beauty fascinate not only Japanese but also foreigners. YOSEGI parquetry craft was mentioned in the book about journey to Edo written by Philipp Franz von Siebold.

YOSEGI is designated as Japanese traditional craft in 1984, then widely known as an art craft.



【How to make YOSEGI】
There are two major techniques to make YOSEGI; Zuku and Muku. Both methods have each characteristics!

◼️ZUKU
Zuku is a technique that has been used since the birth of yosegi. Zuku marquetry is created by creating patterns made by wood chips to make a big seed plate and slicing it as thin as paper with a Japanese-style plane.

In Zuku style, they  can  make many sheets from one seed plate so that a large number of works can be produced with less waste.



◼️MUKU
Muku, on the other hand, is a new technique of YOSEGI that originated in the early Showa period  because the glue has been improved (after 1945) .
It is a technique that carves out one seed board with connected patterns to reshape it into a work.

This shaping method allows you to enjoy the patterns on the inner face of the seed plate. However, since only one work can be made from one seed board, they cost more than zuku marquetry.




They combine wood blocks to make small patterns, and make bigger block with combineing them. It is said that the patterns they can make is about 50 and each pattern has its own meaning, so it is nice to find your favorite pattern.



【YOSEGI for your daily life】
I assume that "YOSEGI puzzle box" is very famous in overseas. The most difficult box has 100 times moves to open it!

It would rather dangerous to keep something important because I don't have the memory good enough.....! Haha


DENTOYA AKATSUKI---Our shop sales YOSEGI accessories which use Mt. Fuji motif.
It represents Mt. Fuji with white snow on top of the mountain with using YOSEGI parquetry technique.

It is very light and handy!
We hope you enjoy it :-)

https://www.dentoyaakatsuki.com/blank-10





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