Cutting bamboo to make it thin stripes
The process of making bamboo stripes and shaping it to the appropriate thickness
Shaving the bamboo stripes
Bamboo that has been prepared to a certain size is shaved to the same thickness.
Heating the bamboo stripes
The same sized materials are heated over a fire. It is then bent at the corners and weaving them.
Pasting Japanese paper
To reinforce the inner and outer surfaces, washi paper (Japanese paper) is attached to increase its strength.
The variety of liquids mixed with lacquer is unlimited. Red and black are the popular colors, but they can be designed with variety of colors depending on how they are mixed.
Bamboo Box that can be used for a Lifetime
Kyo-Tsuzura (Bamboo Box) refers to Kyoto lacquered bamboo box made in Kyoto. Tsuzura is a woven basket made of woven bamboo, and is known as one of a delicate craft since there are 25 detailed work processes to finish the beautiful artwork. Kyo-Tsuzura has excellent air permeability, and the lacquer and persimmon tannin applied to the surface has antibacterial, mothproof and antiseptic properties. In the past, it was said to be the best tool for storing essential clothing. Even today, Sumo wrestlers and Kabuki actors use it as a storage space for their traditional costumes. Kyo-Tsuzura vary in shape and size because they are mostly produced for the purpose of how they can be used. Another One of another main characteristics of Kyo-Tsuzura is that it can be used as an “everyday item for a lifetime” because of its long product life that is guaranteed by the Japanese craftmanship.
History of Japanese Bamboo Box
The history of Kyo-Tsuzura dates back to the Jomon period (Before 300 BCE). In the beginning, baskets were made by weaving plant vines and the main raw material was the vine of the azalea plant because of its strongness and easiness to process. Later, in the Heian period (794-1185), when bamboo processing technology was established, it became possible to make Tsuzura (Bamboo Box) which were made in a square shape as a place to store costumes. Also, in the early Edo period, a merchant in Edo created a new size of Tsuzura as a tool for wedding ceremonies, and it became popular among the general public as a familiar item.
After World War II, furniture for storing clothes became more diversified, which enabled the demand for bamboo boxes gradually decrease. Today, however, craftsmen accept made-to-order requests to produce bamboo box in any sizes. From this situation, there is a new trend that more people are rediscovering the convenience of Tsuzura and foreigners visiting Japan are showing their interest in the traditional Japanese bamboo box.
Storage Box Suitable for Japanese Climate
Since Kyo-Tsuzura was often used to store kimonos and tea ceremony utensils, they are not only popular for its lightness and durableness, but also its elaborate design. Even today, the refined beauty of Kyo-Tsuzura is attracting many people as a practical daily commodity that Japan can be pride of. In fact, some Kyo-Tsuzura users use it as a wine case in addition to the common uses of storing clothes and books. Kyo-Tsuzura is used for multiple purposes, and in Japan, where humidity is high, it is very convenient as a storage box in order to prevent from being molded. Today, as in the past, the craftsman for Kyo-Tsuzura carefully applies lacquer and choose the color of paints using his dedicated techniques to create high-quality Kyo-Tsuzura. Since he only accepts made-to-order, you can order your personalised Kyo-Tsuzura by requesting its size, color, your name or the family crest. Due to its popularity, you may need to wait for several months after you order.
Although people’s lifestyles are changing day by day, it is said that there are several ways to use Kyo-Tsuzura depending on your ideas. Please enjoy the beauty and practicality of Japanese crafts through Kyo-Tsuzura, a traditional craft made in Kyoto.