Mail Order of Traditional Handicrafts and Folk Art

We introduce traditional crafts and folk crafts from Tohoku region and sell them by mail order.

I wrote my thoughts on handwork on my blog.
The specialized in handwork
Payments from oversea

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We introduce Handwork, traditional crafts, folk art and traditional foods made by craftsmen in the Tohoku region of Japan
that have been handed down from generation to generation,
and sell them by mail order .
・・・We advocate Life with Japanese beauty.・・・
157 workshops in 107 industries
at present.
Handicrafts in the Shimotuke region  Handicrafts in Tsugaru Region
Handicrafts outside the zone. Traditional food handiworks   OBM handcrafts  
□We are currently working on an English version of our website.
 Please look forward to the English versions of each of the workshops.
 In the meantime, I apologize
□We are now able to sell all of our products overseas.
 Until the English version is available, please use translation software such as
 google to read it.  
 Handicrafts in the Aizu region  28 workshops in 21 industries  

Aizu lacquerware
Aizu Omiya Lacquer ware shop
会津絵ろうそく 山形屋本店
Aizu Pictured Candle
Main Store
Aizu Hongo ware
Kanzan kiln
lacquerware repair

Aizu Cotton Cloth
Yamada Cotton Weavers
奥会津編み組細工 マタタビ細工
Aizu braid work
Oku-Aizu Mishima Association for the Promotion of Braided Goods
 奥会津編み組細工 ヒロロ細工
Aizu braid work
Oku-Aizu Mishima Association for the Promotion of Braided Goods
 奥会津編み組細工 山ブドウ細工
Aizu braid work
Oku-Aizu Mishima Association for the Promotion of Braided Goods
起上り小法師 山田民芸工房
getting up
little Buddhist monk
Yamada Folk Craft Studio
風車 山田民芸工房
Children's toys
Yamada Folk Craft Studio
初音 山田民芸工房
first sound of the year
vertical whistle
Yamada Folk Craft Studio

Shirakawa Daruma
Sagawa Daruma Factory

Kawamata silkSaito Sangyo Company, Ltd.

Hiroyuki Saito, Saisyuu Silk Fabrics Co.

tailoring a kimono
Fuji store
workshop Makata
Touichi Kanke
workshop Makata
Touichi Kanke
workshop Makata
Touichi Kanke
本醸造酢 太田酢店
pure brewed vinegar
Ohta Vinegar Shop

Japanese carp
of Mt. Bandai
cooked carp

Kumada Fisheries Co
会津の醤油・味噌 イゲタ醤油
Aizu's soy sauce miso
Igeta soy sauce

pickled kipper in Japanese pepper
Nimaruya Musashi-tei Musashi Nagao

sweet sake
miso and pickles
  • 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 popular.
  • 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.

 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, and Hamadori.
  • 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 center.
    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
  • 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.
■both literary and military
  • 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.
■Short Life.
  • 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 wishes.
■Industrial revitalization and town planning
  • Nobunaga is famous for building Azuchi Castle, establishing Rakuichi Rakuza, and organizing the castle town to create a free and prosperous Momoyama period. 
    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.
■Gamo ujisato, a local benefactor
  • 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.
Masayuki Hoshina ■Hoshina Masayuki, the bastard son of Shogun Hidetada
  • 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 his domain.
  • 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 Establishment of the Control Structure and the Attitude of the Clan
  • 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.
■The Matsudaira Surname and Shuziology
  • 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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Topy Planning  ltd.
100-467, Toyoura-nakamachi, Nasushiobara-City, Tochigi-ken
325-0063, Japan
tel/fax +81287-62-7673  Cell phone number: +8180-5089-9227