One Conventional Wicker Trunk Craftsman

1,200 years of Toyooka Indigenous Culture

Tyooka City, Japan – When people think of Kinosaki, they think of onsen (hot springs), as the town is known for its seven baths throughout the region. But for Toyooka, an urban district, what comes to mind are high-end handbags. Toyooka is very important in Japan as the backbone of the stock market. Today there are many toys in Toyooka, but only one remains in the traditional hand-held bags. He is not the only artist left in Toyooka and all over Japan.

Wicker Trunk Japanese Artist

The man, Takumi Terauchi, has been producing traditional wood (Yanagi-gori) for more than 50 years. Living in Izushi – 25 minutes by bus from Toyooka town . An interesting and tedious task that can not be done by machines, which is why they continue to look for students hoping to maintain a delicate, traditional form. In his Takumikogei shop, a person can often be found tearing apart a willow tree revealing his next creation.

Making traditional bags in Kinosaki JapanMaking traditional bags in Kinosaki Japan

The old methods of making bags eventually evolved into modern methods. Using the Yanagi-gori marketing strategy and sewing strategies as the stock industry grows, Toyooka became Japan’s leading producer of bags. The Toyooka Kaban® (Toyooka Bag) brand was registered as a regional brand in 2006 by combining regions with brand names.

Of the thousands of handbags made in Toyooka, only items that meet the high standards set by the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association are the only ones that are approved. Toyooka Kaban® Goods. The Toyooka Kaban® logo is a sure sign of quality.

Due to the lower descent of the Maruyama River in the Toyooka River, wetlands have developed in many areas and created the ideal location for Salix koriyanagi, an East Asian willow variety used mainly for weaving baskets, for good growth. These baskets are Yanagi-gori, which has very good air conditioning and is ideal for Japanese humidity. Both are sturdy and lightweight, so they are found to be appreciated as storage or travel containers.

With heavy snow, limited space for new rice fields, and other environmental problems, there were many people at work during the vacancy. This allowed the local people to do artistic work. Willow’s craftsmanship flourished during the Edo era as a result of this and the positive results of his efforts to preserve traditions, and Yanagi-gori of Toyooka became known throughout the country.

Japan Wicker Products at the 1900 Exhibition in ParisJapan Wicker Products at the 1900 Exhibition in Paris

Subsequently, the Meiji era released new editions with three leather groups. Toyooka’s bags took Japanese teams to the Berlin Olympics in 1936, and the metal bags became a major bag.

In 1953, 80% of Japanese bags were made in Toyooka and became a thriving modern town. During the economic growth of 1958-1961, more than 300 companies emerged from Toyooka. In 2014, Toyooka Kaban Artisan School was created by local artists to ensure that these traditions are passed on to the next generation. As a result, the technical skills from Toyooka still reach people all over the world today.

In the northern part of Toyooka, one can go to Kaban (Bag) street to find modern bags and various bag accessories. The roadside sidewalks have pockets for pockets and mailboxes, while shops sell pockets of various materials and designs. One can find a vending machine selling small totes!

Those who want to learn about Toyooka City and its relationships not only with wallets but also with Oriental White Storks, tourists, and art can read more on this new Toyooka City page!

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Also read: Learn about Cherry Blossoms in Japan Hot Hot Spring Town, Kinosaki Onsen

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