The following specialties are all produced in Takamori, and workshops are possible because these craftspeople (masters & amateurs) have agreed to teach people who may be interested in trying their hand at them.
This is why there are no schedules on the website: contact us beforehand (at least 1 week before would be best) and we will find the best time for you and the makers to make a reservation!
Mizuhiki are long, quite rigid silk strings. They were originally used to tie sumo's hair during fights.
Even though the traditional colours are red, white, gold and silver, more colours and styles can be found nowadays, and Mizuhiki is now mainly used as decoration when gifting money to someone, for special times such as the end of the year or to make small accessories.
This art of creating
extremely detailed artworks from many, many tiny pieces of wood first
appeared in Japan around 500 years ago. It was initially used in temples, to create beautifully ornate sliding doors or very intricate ceiling patterns.
Today, there are less than 100 Kumiko makers in the whole of Japan, with only around 10 of them under 50 years old.
The workshop in Takamori uses 32 types of wood to create their masterpieces, the youngest being 10 years old and the oldest over 2000 years old. Depending on the size and design, one piece takes from one month to one year to make, with unique pieces of wood researched and developed by the maker himself.
Nowadays, Kumiko is mainly used to create decorative, unique works of arts, and smaller objects such as earrings or coasters are gradually appearing.
There is so much bamboo in Japan that people were bound to use it to craft as many things as possible.
Bamboo can be used to create almost anything, and you can easily find bamboo workshops all over Japan. The pretty things that you will make with your own hands probably won't last very long however, as bamboo cracks very easily. It is very important to let it dry in the sun completely after each use (you can even blowtorch the outer green part to get the bomboo oil out of it). If possible, the best thing you can do is to smoke your creations once you're finished
The natural colour made this way is an orangey-brown shade, and can become yellow, brown, dark grey or even purple by using chemical reactions like dipping the dyed fabric in iron infused water for example!
Workshops such as dyeing fabric, experimenting with colours or making your own eco-bag happen in Takamori from time to time, feel free to join!