Agency for Cultural Affairs, Goverment of Japan

Craft
Culture Travel

Traditional Kyushu crafts and their patterns are the motifs for the artist exhibiting at Fukuoka Airport. Located close to the Asian mainland, artisans in Kyushu have long been adopting the techniques that arrived in Japan along with trade before refining them and passing them on to subsequent generations. Today, there are many artisans in Kyushu who continue to take on new challenges, striving to advance their craftwork to the next stage. Visitors to Kyushu may just find their next favorite craft item.

LOCATION

Traditional Kyushu crafts and their patterns are the motifs for the artist exhibiting at Fukuoka Airport. Located close to the Asian mainland, artisans in Kyushu have long been adopting the techniques that arrived in Japan along with trade before refining them and passing them on to subsequent generations. Today, there are many artisans in Kyushu who continue to take on new challenges, striving to advance their craftwork to the next stage. Visitors to Kyushu may just find their next favorite craft item.

Hakata-ori textiles
Large lobed dish with landscape design in underglaze blue Collection of the Kyushu Ceramic Museum Important Cultural Property donated by Mr. Kichiro Imaizumi
Satsuma Kiriko cut glass
Baramon kite
Yamaga lantern

Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture) has prospered for centuries as a city at the heart of Kyushu and is home to many thriving traditional crafts, such as Hakata-ori (textiles), Hakata ningyo (dolls), Hakata magemono (bentwood containers), Hakata koma (spinning tops), Hakata-basami (scissors), Hakata hariko (papier-maché), and “multi glass” (multiple layer glass).

Of particular interest is Hakata-ori textiles, which may take several months of delicate handwork, sometimes using more than 10,000 threads less than 1 mm wide. Hakata-ori has a well-established reputation for its suppleness and robustness. It is said to have originated some 800 years ago, and the cloth is often used for obi (sashes) for kimonos. You can see superb examples of Hakata-ori at the Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum and at the Hakata-ori Kenjokan Nishimura (Traditional Hakata-ori Gallery).

Saga Prefecture, about two hours from Hakata by car or train, is renowned across the world for its ceramics. Of particular note is Arita-yaki (Arita ware), also known as "Imari ware" in Europe, with a history dating back to the early 17th century.

Arita ware is characterized by monochromatic (blue and white) decoration, or finely painted adornments in red, yellow, green, purple and blue on pure white porcelain. At the Kyushu Ceramic Museum you can see ceramic masterpieces from all parts of Kyushu, including a historical collection of Arita ware.

In southern Kyushu’s Kagoshima Prefecture, artisans have passed down the culture of Satsuma kiriko cut glass, a glass craft created by order of SHIMAZU Nariakira, the lord of the Satsuma domain (present-day Kagoshima Prefecture) in the mid-19th century, when the samurai played their role in feudal Japan. This glass craft fuses European cut glass with the delicate handiwork of Japanese artisans and is used alongside Arita ware as tableware as an adornment to Japanese cuisine.

In western Kyushu, on the Goto Islands of Nagasaki Prefecture, the culture of Baramon kites has been handed down through the generations with their appearances in the local kite festivals. The kites are decorated with warriors and demons and are flown to celebrate the birth of a boy and to pray for his growth. In Yamaga in Kumamoto Prefecture, central Kyushu, the craft of Yamaga lanterns has been handed down since about the 14th to 16th centuries along with the lantern festival. Yamaga lantern is a craft featuring the delicate use of only washi (Japanese paper) and glue.

This article was written with the cooperation of:

Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum
Address:
6-1 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Web:
http://hakata-dentou-kougeikan.jp/
Hakata-ori Kenjokan Nishimura
Address:
7-3-5 Murasaki, Chikushino, Fukuoka
Web:
https://nishimura-orimono.jp/
Kyushu National Museum
Address:
4-7-2 Ishizaka, Dazaifu, Fukuoka
Web:
https://www.kyuhaku.jp/
Goto Tourism and Historical Materials Museum
Address:
1-4 Ikedamachi, Goto, Nagasaki
Web:
https://www.city.goto.nagasaki.jp/rekishi/index.html
Yamaga Lanterns Folk Crafts Museum
Address:
1606-2 Yamaga, Yamaga, Kumamoto
Web:
https://yamaga.site/?page_id=1550
Yamaga Toro Shop Nakashima
Address:
1588 Yamaga, Yamaga, Kumamoto
Web:
https://www.facebook.com/%E5%B1%B1%E9%B9%BF%E7%81%AF%E7%B1%A0%E3%81%AE%E5%BA%97-%E3%81%AA%E3%81%8B%E3%81%97%E3%81%BE-226441644554944/
Yamanote
Address:
1375 Yamaga, Yamaga, Kumamoto
Web:
https://yamaga-yamanote.com/
Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan Museum (Iso Kogeikan - Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Gallery Shop)
Address:
9700-1 Yoshinocho, Kagoshima, Kagoshima
Web:
https://www.senganen.jp/
Fukusen-gama (Arita ware kiln)
Address:
2842-3 Akasaka Hei, Arita-cho, Nishimatsuura-gun, Saga
Web:
http://www.fukusengama.co.jp/
The Kyushu Ceramic Museum
Address:
3100-1 Toshaku Otsu, Arita-cho, Nishimatsuura-gun, Saga
Web:
https://saga-museum.jp/ceramic/

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