Akita [Wood craft] Kaba Zaiku (Cherry Bark Work)

Art / Traditional crafts
Tohoku Akita
Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
Update date

It is thought that Kaba Zaiku dates back to the end of the 18th century, when the techniques were passed on to the people in Kakunodate by the Satake-Kita family of the Ani district in northern Akita Prefecture.
The production of cherry-bark goods was given the patronage of the feudal lord to which the Satake-Kita family was attached and was taken up by lower-ranking samurai, initially as a part-time occupation. Then, when they lost their warrior status at the beginning of the Meiji era (1868-1912), this work became their main source of income and they started producing the prototypes of today's cherry bark goods.

Made from the bark of twelve varities of wild cherry, including amekawa, chirashikawa and hibikawa, this work is found nowhere else in Japan. The choice of bark depends on the item being produced. The natural variations in the bark mean that no two pieces are the same. Nearly always applied to a wooden base, various different articles can be made using this appealing material, but perhaps its most celebrated use is the production of tea caddies.

Kaba Zaiku (Cherry Bark Work) (details page)

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