Thursday, August 30, 2018

Handicrafts Heaven at the Yame Traditional Crafts Museum (Yame City, Fukuoka Prefecture)

If you're the type who likes to take home traditional handicrafts as souvenirs, then you'll have a grand time visiting the Yame Traditional Crafts Museum (Yame Traditional Craftwork Center/Yame Dentou Kougei-kan) located in Motomachi, Yame City. 

There's a giant stone lantern at the yard leading to the entrance. Once inside, a spacious hallway filled with traditional handicraft will greet you. 

The Fukushima Buddhist Altars are particularly eye-catching. Craftsmen began making these Buddhist altars in Yame in 1821, employing time tested techniques in applying lacquer and gold leaf. There are traditional paper lanterns called Chochin for Obon, decorated with flowers, birds and landscapes. Since the Taisho period (1912-1926), these elegantly-crafted lanterns have held a major share of the Obon lanternb market. These techniques are now used to make bags. 

Most artists in Yame use handmade paper. Locally sourced mulberry , which has longer fibers than other plants, yields tough yet elegant handmade paper. Stone Lanterns are also on display here. They're simple and sublime decorative products which use stones that are soft, malleable and resist extreme temperatures and is conducive to moss growth. There are Japanese Tops (turumpo/kasing), Day Dolls, bamboo crafts, wooden tubs, Kurume-gasuri (a special textile of the region), arrows and pottery. 

What I like about the place is that it's completely tout-free. There are no hard sells here. In fact, there's just a single person manning the cashier's booth. You can take your time to roam freely. The downside is that all the product labels are in Japanese characters.  

Buddhist Altars that glow like gold.

Chochin are traditional paper lanterns.

Handmade paper made from mulberry.

Once you see this giant Stone Lantern outside, then you know you're in the right place since there are no english signs anywhere.

Different areas of Yame City

#yamecity   #fukuokaprefecture   #kyushu   #japan

No comments: