「兜」Samurai Kabuto Helmet
The design of the Kabuto helmet and its accompanying accessories were arranged by individual preferences. The Kabuto helmet is decorated with antlers/horns (Kuwagata) and a front crest (Maedate) such as an arranged sword, a dragon statue, Myo-oh sculpture, or a statue of Bodhisattva (Bosatsu).
The attachments on the front represent Shintoism and Buddhism and add significant value to the Kabuto. The helmets on the website were carved by the artisan of Edo-period-specialist, who carried on the tradition. These items are made based on National Treasure-listed masterpieces, and those products include the ones which were manufactured by Takaoka which is known as the largest production center of bronze ware in Japan and has a 350-year history.
「兜飾」Massive "with a Mask"
Our collection of Kabuto helmets on the website is a rarity that you cannot find anywhere else. The extremely limited masked display helmets are quite hard to obtain even in Japan. Regarding these handpicked antique and vintage helmet collections, their maedate has a variety of accessories on it, such as a Dragon, Tiger, Phoenix, Shishi or Nio Guardians. They are the biggest helmets at our shop and have such a dignified appearance.
「正絹威」Hand Made Pure Silk
Edo armor with sturdiness and dignity, and delicate and aristocratic Kyoto armor. Let us introduce you to the elaborate helmets made by hand. These helmets, which are made through an entirely different process from Iron Kabuto Helmets, were born by the hands of craftsmen who make genuine artistic armor. Tradition still exists in these works. These helmets are not wearable and for display uses only. Armors and samurai dolls have been decorated at the boy’s festival with a wish of “to make one’s child grow healthy and strong” since the ancient times in Japan. Armors and helmets do not only take over the exorcism as a substitute for one’s child but it has also been regarded to lead future success.
▼ Samurai Kabuto Helmet ▲
This time we prepared such an adorable collection for you. They are very lovely, and it’s expressed as “Kawaii” in Japanese. The collection contains a variety of doll styles; playing traditional performing arts such as a Japanese harp, hand drum or flute, in a Japanese festival or a graceful moment in a wedding ceremony. Facial features and make-up are different depending on the era. Some have a sense of the end of the Edo period, some have an atmosphere of the nostalgic Showa era, and some are a very modern style of the Heisei era. It all depends on the age, designers, or craftsman.
Please heed to their floral costumes that feature chrysanthemum, Wisteria, paulownia, maples, peony, butterflies or waves. “A wooden plate” beside the doll shows you the title of the work with the craftsman’s signature carries on the Japanese tradition.
▼ Japanese Traditional Doll ▲
There are approximately 60 kinds of Noh masks. Noh masks have unclear emotions on them and are finished with an uncertain “intermediary facial expression.” Especially, female Noh masks are made to be able to express pleasure, joy, loneliness and sadness by face up and face down. Please take a look and compare the different facial expressions from above and bottom of a mask on your hands.
「羽衣人形」Noh Dancer Dolls
The Noh is a traditional Japanese art and also it has been winning general applause as“a grace of performing art.” The costume of the Noh Doll keeps the strict standards like the actual performers and is crafted by embodying the authenticity and beauty of the Noh play. The selected collections on our website; “Hagoromo,” “Matsukaze,” “Okina” and “Shojo” are the icons of the Noh doll.
▼ Noh Collections ▲
Takaoka copperware / bronze begins with the history that Maeda Toshinori who was a leader of the second generation Kaga clan (present Ishikawa prefecture) opened a foundry in current Kanayamachi, Takaoka city as a part of the industrial policies to prosper a castle town along with the Takaoka castle construction,and it has reached to present times through many transitions.
Although agricultural tools such as the plow, the hoe and everyday products including pots, kettles by iron casting were their main products,the demand for gold casting (copper alloy casting) increased along with life standards and social improvements in the middle of the Edo era.
「伝承」Folklore in Modern
Nowadays, they produce products that meet with social needs due to their prolonged tradition, achievements and excellent gold goods craftsmen, and in recent years, they work on creating massive bronze statues, and the bronze statue of a famous writer raised the name recognition of Takaoka Copperware and Bronze.
They have reached the present age through those periods of times. Even in the modern era since its inception about 400 years ago, they produce a broad range of products as the sole producer for copper castings in Japan.
▼ Other Traditional Crafts ▲
「博多人形」Hakata Clay Doll
In Our Fukuoka Prefecture,it is said that people associated with temples and shrines have had a custom of cherishing unglazed dolls since the Kamakura Era about 800 years ago. The origin of Hakata dolls was in 1600, when many craftsmen gathered in the area with the move of feudal lord Kuroda Nagamasa to Chikuzen(Fukuoka Prefecture) to rule. During the Late Edo Era, excellent craftsmen such as Masaki Soshichi, Nakanoko Kichibei, and Shirozu Buhei produced great works, and their dolls were sold throughout Kyushu and around the Seto Inland Sea. After the Meiji Era , artists produced modern Hakata dolls and presented them at international exhibitions in Paris(1890), Saint Louis, and other cities all over the world.
The dolls earned an excellent reputation, becoming known throughout the world as dolls representative of Japan and being exported overseas.
These days, about 100 doll-makers continue to use the traditional doll-making technique while daring to explore new possibilities.