Government-designated Traditional Crafts mv Government-designated Traditional Crafts mv Special Crafts Designated by the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture mv

Traditional crafts refer to items designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry as such, after fulfilling all the necessary criteria, including being designed for use in daily life, being handmade, and using a traditional technique or material. As of November 2022, a total of 240 items have been designated as such nationwide.

  • Hakataori Textile
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    Hakataori Textile

    Hakataori, a thick textile featuring fusenmon and ryujyo patterns, dates back approximately 780 years, after some Japanese mastered a textile production technique in China, introduced it into Japan, and improved upon it. A man’s obi (sash) of the textile is especially highly regarded because the obi does not loosen until the evening after it is tied in the morning. This obi is the best example demonstrating the properties of this textile, with silk threads being painstakingly and robustly woven into the fabric.

  • Hakata Ningyo
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    Hakata Ningyo

    The roots are in the bisque fired dolls made by artisans of the Kuroda clan, who started to rule Fukuoka in 1600. With the advent of master artisans in the second half of the Edo period, Hakata dolls became well known nationwide. Since the Meiji era, demand for the dolls has increased also in overseas markets with nearly 100 artists today breathing life into the dolls.

  • Kurume Kasuri Textile
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    Kurume Kasuri Textile

    A bundle of cotton threads is tied with a hemp rope and dyed with indigo to create a mottled pattern. The threads of that bundle are woven into threads from another bundle with a different pattern to produce textile with a wide variety of patterns. Kurume Kasuri, invented in the Edo period by the daughter of the rice merchant Den Inoue, is now loved by many people as a representative example of Japanese kasuri culture.

  • Koishiwara Ware
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    Koishiwara Ware

    The Koishiwara region (Toho Village) used to have the culture of creating daily-use ware by firing it in a kiln. In 1931, Muneyoshi Yanagi, the father of the Japanese folk-arts movement, introduced Koishiwara ware to the public, increasing its profile throughout the country. The attractive feature of the ceramics lies in its simple and robust beauty for practical use.

  • Agano Ware
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    Agano Ware

    Highly valued as the kiln designated to cater to the domain’s lords of the Hosokawa clan and the Ogasawara clan, Agano ware was treasured by tea ceremony masters as items from one of the Enshu Seven Kilns. The ceramics’ appropriate weight and texture realized by its thin formation, together with the use of colorful glaze as indicated by ryokusho-nagashi, make the ceramics distinctive.

  • Yame Fukushima Butsudan
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    Yame Fukushima Butsudan

    Yame Fukushima Butsudan altars reveal the craftmen's exquisite skills throughout the work, such as dignified lacquering, magnificent gold foil, intricate carving, and decorative metal fittings. The origin of the altars created with utmost extravagance goes back to the Edo period, when a group of carpenters reproduced a splendid Buddhist temple that appeared in the dream of one of them.

  • Yame Lantern
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    Yame Lantern

    Yame lanterns, whose history began with bachochin lanterns in the Edo period, have evolved through the input of many skillful craftsmen. The materials for Yame lanterns include bamboo from Yame, Japanese paper made with clear water, and silk. The lanterns are not merely a signature item of Chikugo used for seasonal events, such as bon and other festivals, but also a masterpiece embodying the essence of the regional culture.

Special Crafts Designated by the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture mv Special Crafts Designated by the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture mv Special Crafts Designated by the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture mv

This designation is granted to works of art/craft if they are produced in Fukuoka Prefecture, embody their local culture, and are produced with a technique/production method that has been handed down for at least 50 years to the present day. Currently, 35 items have been designated as such and are loved widely by people inside and outside the prefecture.

  • Magoji Kite
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    Magoji Kite

    The name comes from the fact that Magoji Takeuchi of Tobata, Kitakyushu, began making it at the end of the Meiji period. Kite flying was popular in Kitakyushu, where strong winds blew from the nearby sea. Kite-making masters competed with one another to show off their skills.

  • Kokura Textile
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    Kokura Textile

    This is a thick, durable, and smooth cotton textile. Using thread dyed in advance, weaving is performed so that the warp will be arranged more densely than the weft. This enables striped patterns to be formed on the textile. The color shades of the patterns exude a dignified, crisp atmosphere and produce a three-dimensional effect.

  • Hassaku-no-uma Doll
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    Hassaku-no-uma Doll

    To celebrate the boys’ first seasonal festival on Hassaku (August 1 in the lunar calendar), parents distribute Hassaku-no-uma straw dolls to neighbors. On the back of the horse-shaped dolls is a renowned general, such as Nagamasa Kuroda, in the hope that the boy will grow healthy and brave.

  • Ashiya Kettle
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    Ashiya Kettle

    As tea-ceremony kettle made of cast iron, they have been produced since around the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties in Ashiyazu, Chikuzen-no-kuni (present-day Ashiya-machi, Onga-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture). The kettles are characterized by their noble "shinnari" shape and elegant patterns on the body. They have long been valued as a superb example of tea-ceremony kettles.

  • Tsuyazaki Ningyo
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    Tsuyazaki Ningyo

    Tsuyazaki dolls are unglazed dolls with a history of about 230 years. They are made by using molds that families of craftsmen have inherited from generation to generation. The charm of the dolls lies in their solidity and stability, and vivid, vibrant colors.

  • Fukuoka Sekiso Kogei Garasu
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    Fukuoka Sekiso Kogei Garasu

    Fukuoka Sekiso Kogei Garasu, popularly known as "multi-layer glass", is used to produce a wide variety of ornaments and tableware. Its beautiful curves are created by laying multiple sheets of glass with different textures on top of one another. One hundred thirty different colors of the glass have been handed down over generations.

  • Hakata Magemono Container
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    Hakata Magemono Container

    Used in daily life since the olden days, this tub helps maintain the contents at an appropriate temperature, leading to its use as a rice tub by sushi chefs. It is said that the tub can last for 50 years if used carefully.

  • Hakata Scissors
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    Hakata Scissors

    These scissors have their origin in the kara scissors introduced by the trader Sha Kokumei from the Southern Song dynasty to Hakata. Made with a sword production method by smiths in Hakata, Hakata scissors are replete with excellent attention to detail.

  • Hakata Hariko
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    Hakata Hariko

    Hakata Hariko dolls are made by covering a wooden or plaster mold with multiple layers of Japanese washi paper, etc. to form its shape. This method was introduced to Hakata in the mid-Edo period by Papier-mâché artists from Kamigata, the Kansai region. Brightly colored Hakata Hariko dolls are widely popular as lucky charms.

  • Hakata Top
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    Hakata Top

    It is said that this is the first top originating in Japan. Featuring shinbo, an iron axle hammered into a wooden base, this top spins for a long time with little swing, leading to an acrobatic performance.

  • Hakata Okiage
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    Hakata Okiage

    Okiage is a raised picture with cotton and cloth used to produce a three-dimensional effect. The face part of the picture is drawn by hand delicately and passionately, making the work even more attractive. The production method has been handed down to this day.

  • Imajuku Doll
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    Imajuku Doll

    This folklore clay doll is the origin of the Hakata doll. In many cases, the clay doll is associated with traditional life culture, religious beliefs, and other aspects of people’s lives. Loved by many people, this simple and warm doll is made today while preserving the tradition.

  • Ki Uso
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    Ki Uso

    Ki Uso are wooden figurines depicting bullfinches, which are said to have expelled a large flock of hornets that was hindering construction work at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in 1591. They are also used for Shinto rituals at Tenmangu shrines nationwide as well as a popular good luck charm.

  • Haki-Gogatsu-Sekku-Nobori Streamer
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    Haki-Gogatsu-Sekku-Nobori Streamer

    It is said that the history of Gogatsu-Sekku-Nobori, a pair of streamers, stretches back to the Edo period, when it was displayed to celebrate the Boys’ Festival in May. Exuding a brave impression, the brightly dyed streamers are a seasonal attraction of the Chikugo region.

  • Hikosan Garagara
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    Hikosan Garagara

    Hikosan rattles, which are regarded as Japan's oldest earthenware bells, boast a history of about 800 years. They are said to originate in a bell of which Emperor Monmu made an offering at Mt. Hiko. Today, the bells are hung or placed in the entrance halls of houses and the like to protect people against evil.

  • Palm Broom
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    Palm Broom

    Farmers in many regions used to make palm brooms during their off-season. Not only does the palm fiber attract dust, but also the bark has oil, which makes the floor shiny.

  • Kurume Okiage
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    Kurume Okiage

    Kurume Okiage is a raised cloth picture made by wrapping cotton in colorful fabric and placing parts upon others one by one. As its origin, some say that it was brought to Kurume as a souvenir by the Arima clan at the time of sankin kotai, going up to Edo for alternate-year attendance. In those days, there were craftsmen specialized in creating the faces of the characters called menmoku-shi, literally face masters.

  • Rantai Shikki
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    Rantai Shikki

    This is a lacquered bamboo basket created by polishing the lacquer several times to create a decorative finish. Not only pleasing to the eyes of the user, this masterpiece is also light and durable. The more it is used, the more sophisticated the atmosphere it exudes.

  • Jyojima Onigawara
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    Jyojima Onigawara

    The history of Jyojima Onigawara or goblin-mask tiles started when the Arima family took over control of the Kurume domain. Recognized for their beautiful gloss, refined shapes and extraordinary durability, the Jyojima Onigawara have been widely used to ward off evil in shrines, temples and traditional Japanese houses across the Kyushu region.

  • Chikugo Wagasa
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    Chikugo Wagasa

    Chikugo Japanese umbrellas are elaborately wrought crafts, whose production requires over 100 complex steps. Chikugo's geographic benefits that allow easy access to materials of the umbrellas have partly contributed to the area becoming a major production site of Japanese umbrellas.

  • Nabeshima-dantsu
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    Nabeshima cotton carpets are referred to as Japan's oldest of their kind. As their major feature, the carpets are made from cotton threads which were abundant in the area at that time, while their counterparts overseas are made from wool.

  • Yame Handmade Japanese Paper
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    Yame Handmade Japanese Paper

    This paper is very durable. It is said that this paper began to be made more than 400 years ago, when Nichigen, a monk from Echizen, found that the Yabe River's geography and water quality were suitable for papermaking, and taught the local people how to make paper.

  • Yame Garden Lantern
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    Yame Garden Lantern

    This stone lantern is made of tuff, which is mined in abundance in the local area. The stone is light, soft, and easily weathered, but is resistant to cold and heat and gathers stone moss (moss growing on stone surfaces) quickly, making it suitable as a material for garden lanterns.

  • Yame Take Zaiku
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    Yame Take Zaiku

    The Yame region, the production site of Yame bamboo ware, is blessed with high-quality madake bamboo and moso bamboo. Excelling in durability, this exquisite piece of work can be used as a utility article for 50 or 60 years, even though no dyes or adhesives are used.

  • Yame Ya
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    Yame Ya

    Yame arrows are produced in Yame, a region rich in fine-quality bamboo. The arrows are made by hand at every step, from roasting bamboo over charcoal and stretching it out straight, the method of which is called aratame, to cutting feathers.

  • Yame Japanese Top
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    Yame Japanese Top

    There is a theory that says that this top has its origin in a top introduced by Michizane Sugawara. This traditional top is made of lumber from a tree at least 30 years old after the tree has been dried for about a year. The top’s wooden axel needs to be on the top’s axis, and this arrangement requires a skillful technique.

  • Akasaka Ningyo
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    Akasaka Ningyo

    These dolls were initially created by Akasaka ware ceramists as a hobby in their area, where there were Akasaka ware kilns for the Arima clan and where it flourished. The dolls are popularly known as "teteppoppo”, which means a ham-handed person in Chikugo's old dialect. As it is named, the dolls are full of rustic charm.

  • Kijiguruma
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    Kijiguruma have been believed to guide people toward good fortune, a good match and family happiness. The karts, which were once mentioned in a poem by Hakushu Kitahara, are created by curving the wood, arranging its shape with the use of only a hatchet without any nails and painting the body.

  • Tennen Shono
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    Tennen Shono

    To produce camphor, the raw wood of the camphor tree is crashed into small pieces, which are steamed inside earthenware. The resulting steam is gathered, cooled, and crystallized. The appearing crystals are expressed and finally solidified. Natural camphor is very scarce since only 25 kg can be produced from six tons of camphor trees.

  • Kakegawa Rug
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    Kakegawa Rug

    This rug has long been produced throughout the Chikugo region, known as a rush production center. Featuring rush’s distinctively refreshing scent and vivid color, the rug produces a dignified atmosphere and serves as a special attraction of summer in the region.

  • Okawa Chest Completely Made of Paulownia
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    Okawa Chest Completely Made of Paulownia

    This is a chest made of paulownia, which does not burn easily and helps to control the temperature, retain moisture, and repel insects. The chest, whose drawers can be opened and closed very smoothly as a result of elaborate workmanship, features a delicate texture.

  • Okawa Chokoku
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    Okawa Chokoku

    Made with thin boards of Yakushima cedar, Okawa wooden sculptures are openwork in a wickerwork design that creates three-dimensional effects by leveraging the close grain of wood. Bolstering these masterpieces are the sensitivities of the craftsmen, who are able to determine the characters of each piece of wood, and their techniques, which have been developed through years of efforts.

  • Okawa Kumiko Openwork
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    Okawa Kumiko Openwork

    Boasting a history of approximately 300 years, this openwork comes in more than 200 patterns resulting from an assembly of wooden sticks. The openwork looks fragile, but since the components are assembled precisely to engage with one another, it is actually as sturdy as a single plate.

  • Yanagawa Mari
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    Yanagawa Mari

    Yanagawa Mari balls are handiwork that forms an essential part of sagemon, decorations hung around Hinadan, a tiered stand for dolls for the girls' festival, during the first birthday celebrations for baby girls. Yanagawa balls are created by sewing patterns on a ball with plant-dyed cotton thread and colorful lily-yarn while elaborately wrapping the thread and yarn around the ball.

  • Yame Bamboo Blind
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    Yame Bamboo Blind

    Made of thin bamboo sticks, this blind was an essential item to partition a room in a shinden style structure in the Heian period. Today, it is still used as luxury furnishing in Japanese houses, shrines, and temples.