2010/10/04/20 The homepage is now open.
|We introduce Handwork, traditional crafts, folk art and traditional foods
made by craftsmen in the Tohoku region of Japan ，
・・・We advocate Life with Japanese beauty.・・・
that have been handed down from generation to generation,
and sell them by mail order .
- The reason that I included Aizu in "Shimotuke, Aizu, Tsugaru Handicraft" is because I was working in the forest of Hatori-ko Kogen Regina for three years (seconded from Nippon View Hotel).
At that time, we organized a two-night course of club tourism, and it had
become a reputable facility with a rate of over 100% and an evaluation
of over 90 points.
At that time, we created the "Aizu Tour Day Trip Course" for
those who stayed in Aizu, and it was very popular. Among the facilities,
the Aizu lacquerware workshop "Suzutake" and the Ouchi inn were
- Through such a chance, I got to know Mr. Seiichiro Suzuki of the lacquerware
studio Suzutake and asked him about his love for his hometown and his passion
for Aizu-lacquerware, and he agreed to help me create this site.
- I have described Tsugaru as another fragrant place, but Aizu is more like a place with a history dating back to the Warring States period.
Aizu still has a lot of culture and handicraft to offer. We hope to continue to introduce them to you.
- We have now started for the sixth term, and the handiwork in the Aizu region has been enriched.
Aizu was devastated by the radioactive contamination from the Fukushima
the first nuclear power plant caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake
on March 11, 2011. The Nasu Kogen where I live was also similar. It's said
to be a damage caused by rumors, but for parents of children, it's unavoidable.
- For those of us who live there, it is a difficult choice to leave the land
and fields that we have inherited from our ancestors and migrate. Under
such circumstances, the Harayama Textile Factory, which had been a popular
workshop, closed down and closed its business in January of this year.
It was in the process of recovering from the economic fallout of the earthquake,
but it was due to the fact that it ran out of power.
- Even so, Aizu has been restored considerably by the support from all over Japan and all over the world. Now, it is not as much as it was before the disaster, but it is back to about 60%.
In this context, new workshops have been added.
- The Aizu cotton is one of the Yamada cotton weavers. And at Shirakawa Daruma, we have another workshop, the Watanabe Daruma shop. We also have a business relationship with a braided-work studio in Okuaizu last year. This is the workshop started by Mr. Toichi Kanke, who used to be the secretariat of the Oku Aizu Mishima Association for the Promotion of Braided Goods after he retired from the third sector craft center. Since the current Kommuninvest's secretariat does not respond to orders, the workshop is a window for the handiwork of the happy braided work.
- We believe that our sales activities for the sixth fiscal year will be
of great help to you.
We look forward to working with you in the future.
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| Aizu region
- Aizu is one of the three regions (enumerated from the west) that generally
border Fukushima Prefecture on the two ridge lines of the Ou Mountains
and the Abukuma Highlands that run from north to south: Aizu, Nakadori,
- It is surrounded by the Ou Mountains to the east, the Iide Mountains to
the north, the Echigo Mountains to the west, and the Shimono Mountains
(including the Teishaku Mountains and Osatobi Mountains) to the south,
with the Aizu Basin in present-day western Fukushima Prefecture at the
The central location is Aizuwakamatsu City.
- Mutsu Province was established under the Ritsuryo system, and Aizu County
was established as one of the counties within it. Later, in the Heian period
(794-1185), Yama-gun was separated, and Onuma and Kawanuma counties were
further separated, and thereafter Aizu-gun and these three counties were
collectively called the four counties of Aizu.
- In the Edo period (1603-1868), the area was the domain of the Aizu clan, and since then, many traditional crafts such as lacquer ware industry have been located here due to the clan's industrial promotion policy. However, after Emperor Takaaki's death, the Aizu clan was at odds with the Meiji government's forces, which were led by the Satsuma and Choshu clans, and the Boshin War, which was symbolized by the Byakkotai, was a tragic event.
- Before the abolition of the clan and the establishment of the prefecture,
the territory of the Aizu clan was placed under the direct control of the
Civil Administration Bureau of the Meiji government. Although Wakamatsu
Prefecture, which covered the territory of the Aizu Clan, was formed even
after the abolition of the clan, it merged with Iwamae Prefecture (Hamadori)
and Fukushima Prefecture (Nakadori) on August 21, 1876, and became part
of present-day Fukushima Prefecture.
|Handicraft in Aizu
- Many of Aizu's traditional handicrafts and products were created and passed down through the generations with the encouragement of Gamo Ujisato, a lord of the Muromachi period about 400 years ago.
- Aizu's traditional handicrafts and products are supported by the harsh climate and climate of the Aizu region and by the diligent and tenacious nature of its craftsmen. Aizu lacquerware, pottery (Aizu Hongo ware), Aizu cotton, folk crafts of papier-mâché (Akabeko,Okiagari Koboshi, windmill, Chinese kite), Aizu paulownia chest, Aizu wooden clogs, miso, soy sauce, sake, etc.
|Mr. Ujisato Gamo
||Gamo Ujisato was a favorite vassal of Oda Nobunaga, a hero of the Warring States period, and married Nobunaga's daughter, Fuyuhime. It was he who laid the foundation of Aizuwakamatsu as it is today. It was Gamo Clango who changed the name of Kurokawa to Wakamatsu (Aizu).
He was a man of great ability, but he died when he was only 40 years old.
■History of Gamo Ujisato
■both literary and military
- After Date Masamune, Aizu was given to Gamo Ujisato, the lord of Ise Matsuzaka
(Mie Prefecture). Ujisato was born in 1556, the son of Gamo Kenshu, lord
of Hino Castle in Omi Province (Shiga Prefecture). At an early age, he
was held hostage by Oda Nobunaga, but his extraordinary talents were loved
by Nobunaga and he ended up marrying his daughter Fuyuhime. The influence
of the first hero Nobunaga had on the young Ujisato must have been significant.
- Later, he was active in the battles of Komaki and Nagakute under Hideyoshi, and was granted 120,000 stone in Matsugashima (later Matsusaka), Ise Province, and became the lord of 400,000 stone in Aizu, and later 920,000 stone in Aizu, thanks to his success in conquering Kyushu and Odawara.
- The stone height is the unit of measurement of rice:(One stone is 180 liters.
- Ujisato was known as a brave warlord who always took the lead in charging into the enemy, wearing the helmet of the catfish. On the other hand, he was also famous as a cultural figure who understood Japanese poetry and religion and represented the Azuchi-Momoyama culture.
- Especially in the tea ceremony, he was named as one of the top seven philosophers
of Rikyu. In "The Summer Book of Kousin," left by Rikyu's great-grandson,Kousin,
it is written that when Rikyu was ordered to commit seppuku by Hideyoshi,
Ujisato regretted that he would not have let his teacher Rikyu die if he
had stayed in Kyoto, and it is interesting to see the interaction between
Rikyu and Ujisato through the tea ceremony.
■Industrial revitalization and town planning
- Thus, Ujisato, who excelled in both literary and military arts, became
lord of Aizu at the young age of 36 and played a key role in controlling
Date Masamune of Sendai and Mogami Yoshimitsu of Yamagata, but he died
on February 7, 1595 at the age of 40.
- According to the famous doctor of the time, Seizo Kyokuzan, the cause of
death was hypochondriasis, but there are also some theories that he died
too young and conspired to kill himself. His death is described as "If
there is a limit, then the flowers will scatter, and the heart will be
puzzled by the mountain breeze of spring", and his grave is left at
Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto and Kotokuji Temple in Aizuwakamatsu City.
- After Ujisato's death, his son, Tsuru Chiyo (later Hideyuki), succeeded
him at the age of 13, but in 1598, he was reduced to 180,000 stone (Tochigi)
in Utsunomiya, Shimo Province because he was too young to lead the family.
It is also said that Fuyuhime, the widow of Ujisato, did not obey Hideyoshi's
■Gamo ujisato, a local benefactor
- Nobunaga is famous for building Azuchi Castle, establishing Rakuichi Rakuza,
and organizing the castle town to create a free and prosperous Momoyama
When Ujisato entered Aizu, he began work on Tsuruga Castle. It is said
that many engineers were brought in from Ujitukesato's hometown of Omi
and built a seven-layered keep with the remains of a nosurazumi tower.
- In addition, the narrow castle grounds of the Ashina period were renovated,
shrines and temples were placed outside of the enclave to house vassals'
residences, the Kuruma River was used to build an outer moat, commoners
were allowed to live outside the enclave, and shrines and temples were
placed in key locations to form the backbone of today's Aizuwakamatsu urban
area. The Kurokawa was renamed Wakamatsu after the "Wakamatsu Forest"
in Gamo Township, Omi Province.
- In order to further encourage the development of commerce and industry,
several meaningful measures were taken. One of these was the establishment
of a city to trade in produce. Baba town has "1" and "8",
Hongo town has "2" and "7", Mikkamachi has "3",
Keirintera town has "4" and "9", Omachi has "5"
and "10", and Muika town has "6". Next, he invited
woodworkers and lacquerers from the Omi Province to lay the foundation
for Aizu lacquerware, which still plays a major role as a local industry
in Aizu. It also promoted industries such as sake brewing and metalworking,
which were passed down to future generations, by transferring superior
Kamigata techniques to Aizu.
- These achievements of Ujisato still have a great impact on our lives today.
The Tokaichi market in Omachi is a major event to mark the New Year's Day
in Aizu, and the summer market is well known as a seasonal event. Lacquerware
and sake brewing, which Ujisato introduced from Omi Province, are known
throughout Japan as two major local industries representing Aizu, a hometown
blessed with history and nature. It is not surprising that the citizens
of Aizuwakamatsu still praise Ujisato as a benefactor of their hometown.
||■Hoshina Masayuki, the bastard son of Shogun Hidetada
■The Establishment of the Control Structure and the Attitude of the Clan
- Hoshina Masayuki was the bastard son of Tokugawa Hidetada, Shogun II. When
Hidetada was not recognized as a biological child, he was raised as the
adopted son of Hoshina Masamitsu of Shinano. Eventually, he was recognized
by Iemitsu, the third shogun, as his younger brother and given Aizu as
- When Masayuki Hoshina's son, Masakata took over the third generation, the
shogunate gave him the surname of Matsudaira and the crest of Aoi, and
Aizu was formally incorporated into the Tokugawa family. Thus, nine generations
of the Matsudaira clan government in Aizu continued.
- After Kato Yoshiaki left Aizu due to a quarrel with a senior vassal, Horishimizu, Hoshina Masayuki joined the club from Dewa (Yamagata Prefecture). Masayuki was born to the second shogun, Hidetada, but Hidetada, fearing the wrath of his wife, refused to recognize him as a biological child, so he was brought up under the tutelage of Misein, daughter of Takeda Shingen, and at the age of seven became the adopted son of Hoshina Masayuki, the lord of the castle in Shinano Province (Nagano Prefecture).
- Although father and son did not meet before his death, the third shogun, Iemitsu, recognized Masayuki as his younger brother, and he was given exceptional treatment compared to 200,000 koku in Dewa Yamagata in 1636 and 230,000 koku in Aizu and 30,000 koku in Takato in 1643.
■The Matsudaira Surname and Shuziology
- When Masayuki entered Aizu, he patrolled the territory and established
a structure of control within the territory by establishing numerous laws
and regulations, including the 18 Articles of Civil Administration and
the Act on the Collection of Village Shares.
- In addition, the Fifteenth Article of the Family Motto clarified the loyalty
to the Tokugawa family and the attitude of clansmen, and became the spiritual
pillar of the Aizu Matsudaira Clan administration. In addition, he forbade
martyrdom and severed the spirit of the Warring States period, rebuilt
shrines and suppressed Buddhist rituals, and compiled the Aizu Fudoki,
which clarified the origin of his domain, thus laying the foundation of
the Aizu Matsudaira domain, which has lasted nine generations.
- When the third shogun Iemitsu died, Masayuki became the guardian of the
fourth shogun Ietsuna by his will and worked to bring up the 11-year-old
shogun. In particular, he made a significant contribution to the establishment
of the foundation for the 300th anniversary of the Tokugawa Shogunate by
revising the warlike politics of the third generation of Tokugawa, which
conveyed the spirit of the Warring States period, and transforming it into
a civil and political system centered on the study of the Suzaku.
- When Masayuki died at the age of 62 in the 12th year of the Kanbun (1672), his son, Masatune, was succeeded by his son, Masakata, who was given the surname of Matsudaira and the crest of Aoi by the shogunate and incorporated into the Tokugawa clan. Although Masayuki was a respectful and virtuous monarch, his vermilion-skinned conservatism became the spiritual climate of the Aizu clan and left behind a temperament that tended to lag behind the times.
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