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  • January 2017
  • New Designation of Owari Household Buddhist Altars, Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works, and Haebaru Hanaori Textiles as Traditional Crafts under the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries

New Designation of Owari Household Buddhist Altars, Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works, and Haebaru Hanaori Textiles as Traditional Crafts under the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that on January 26, 2017, it newly designated the following three crafts as traditional crafts as defined in the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries (hereinafter called the “Act”): Owari Household Buddhist Altars in Aichi Prefecture, Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works in Nagasaki Prefecture, and Haebaru Hanaori Textiles in Okinawa Prefecture.

1. New designation of traditional crafts

Concerning the new designations, the Traditional Craft Designation Subcommittee of the Manufacturing Industry Committee under the Industrial Structure Council examined the crafts and decided to newly designate them as traditional crafts. On January 26, 2017, this designation was announced by a public notice and the crafts have been listed as items designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. The number of designated traditional crafts is now 225 items, of which 13 are from Aichi Prefecture, three are from Nagasaki Prefecture, and 15 are from Okinawa Prefecture.

2. Outline of the newly designated crafts

1) Owari Household Buddhist Altars

Owari Household Buddhist Altars are traditional crafts mainly manufactured in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, and were first made in the early Edo period. Utilizing quality lumber resources logged in the outskirts of the Owari Province during the late Edo period, low-ranking samurai developed the craft as a side business. The crafts are mainly wooden lacquer products, which are characterized by manufacturing processes consisting of a variety of steps and by colorful finishing touches.

 Owari Household Buddhist Altars 1Owari Household Buddhist Altars 2

2) Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works

Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works are traditional crafts that have been manufactured mainly in Nagasaki City and Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture, since the Edo period, through manual work to meticulously adjust the proportions and shade of color of such crafts using sophisticated, elaborate techniques. These works include large articles, e.g., treasure ship miniatures, as well as small articles, e.g., hair accessories.

 Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works 1Nagasaki Tortoiseshell Works 2

3) Haebaru Hanaori Textiles

Haebaru Hanaori Textiles are traditional textiles that have been woven in Haebaru Town, Okinawa Prefecture, since the Meiji era. The textiles consist of “summer-and-winter” patterns similar to a chevron weave, forming beautiful three-dimensional flower-like designs. These patterns include regional styles uniquely called Kwan-kwan Hanaori, Chip-gasah, Kyan Hachimai, and other types.

Haebaru Hanaori Textiles

Reference: Details of the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries

The Act aims to provide rich and affluent living to the public and contribute to the passing down of traditional skills and techniques to the next generation, as well as spur economic development and creation of employment in the region, through the promotion of traditional craft industries. Traditional crafts that are designated* under the Act are subject to various types of promotion policies under the Act.

*Five requirements should be satisfied for designation: the craft should be: [i] a daily commodity, [ii] handmade, [iii] made using a traditional skill or technique continued for the last 100 years or more, [iv] made of a raw material which has been used traditionally, and [v] created in a particular area.

Release date

January 26, 2017

Division in Charge

Traditional Craft Industry Office, Lifestyle Industries Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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