Hatou-ken / Shi-Hei
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Product Description : Why is it so EXPENSIVE?
General Product Information
This inkstone is made by skilled craftsmen who have inherited the traditional techniques of the Akama inkstone. He carefully and wholeheartedly produce one surface at a time. This inkstone will never bore you, and will make you want to rub the ink stick on the ink stone
We recommend this inkstone for both enthusiastic calligraphers and those who are just starting out. We hope that you will enjoy the time you spend quietly facing the inkstone, ink rubbing it, and enjoying calligraphy!
The inkstone was made by Nobuo Horio, the holder of the Akama inkstone, which is designated as an intangible cultural property by Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is inscribed on the bottom with the name "Nobuo".
When did these crafts start to craft?：800 years ago / 1200AD / Kamakura period in Japan
Akama inkstone is an inkstone made in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Its production began in the Kamakura period (1185-1333). The Akama inkstone, which is said to have been dedicated by Minamoto no Yoritomo (The shogun of the time; shogun means conqueror of Japan), still remains at the shrine in Kamakura, and has a history of more than 800 years. In the Edo period (1603-1868), it became a valuable item that could not be easily crafted, and was used as a gift to the lord of the domain.
Nobuo Horio / Gyokkodo
Gyokkodo was founded in 1909 and they have 20 inkstone shops at one time, but the number continued to decline as the demand changed. it is because the Shimonoseki air raid of 1945 was the decisive factor, leaving only one inkstone shop (Gyokkodo) after the war. The store and techniques passed down from the previous generation have been preserved, and now Nobuo Horio, the fourth generation of Gyokkodo, is producing the products.
"My goal is to surpass my father"
I think it is important to seek evolution even as I approach 80 years of age. The difference between a craftsman and an artist is that a craftsman can make the same thing 100 times. An artist builds on that foundation to create something flexible and dreamlike. Based on the foundation taught to me by my father and mentor, I will continue to pursue ways to make the most of stone.
Received the Chairman's Prize at the 56th Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition
Dedicated by Yamaguchi Prefecture to the Emperor and Empress of Japan on their visit to Yamaguchi National Stadium
Acquired by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
He has received many other awards for their work.
Your Contribution to Craftsman
Due to the market structure (link for full articles are attached bottom), craftsman have not known who the customer is and how customer reacts to their work. We made a “Message to Craftsman” box at purchase page. We will deliver all message to every craftsman. Our review will be also shared to craftsman so please leave your comment and evaluation on review section!
Income for Craftsman: Craftsman get only less than 10% of selling price?
As written above, craftsman have not controlled last phase of sales channel that resulting in selling price is set by third-party without craftsman’s recognition. There are some cases that only less than 10% of selling price is given to craftsman. We promise with our customer / craftsman that we offer the fair trade with craftsmen in our contract!
We made an article about above problem and our challenge. Please have a read from below link.
Current state of the Crafts Market / Benefits brought by Suigenkyo
Material & Caution
Each piece is handmade, so there are individual differences even in the same series. We hope that you will understand the change by handmade.
Made to Order
Basically, this product is made to order, so it takes about 2~3 months from order to delivery. Please note that there may be unavoidable delays in delivery due to material shortages or delays in the production process.
We have not uploaded this craftsman’s video yet, please discover another craftsman’s video from below link.