Yame’s history has progressed along with its traditional crafts. Buddhist altars and paper lanterns have been produced since the Edo period (17th-19th centuries),
and handmade washi papers have been made since approximately 400 years ago.
This region is also renowned for its stone lanterns, and Yame’s masonry can be traced back to the human- and horse-shaped stone monuments that were placed around burial mounds in the Kofun period (AD 250 to 538).
The refined craftsmanship is alive in this quaint city’s traditional townscapes. Leisurely immerse yourself in Yame by visiting artisan’s workshops, strolling around the town,and enjoying a delicious Yamecha (Yame tea) break or two.
Craftsmen began making Buddhist altars in this area in 1821. Time-tested techniques are used to apply lacquer and gold leaf.
Nowadays, the artisans also use their expertise to craft metal accessories and lacquered interior pieces.
Locally sourced mulberry, which has longer ﬁbers than other plants, yields tough yet elegant handmade paper. Yame handmade paper was the paper of choice of the famous printmaker Shiko Munakata.
Yame handmade paper is used for lacquered papier-mâché and shoji paper screens, and with some additional processing, it can also be used to make stylish bags.
Yame’s paper lanterns, made from Yame’s own handmade Japanese paper, are decorated with ﬂowers, birds and landscapes. Since the Taisho period (1912-1926), these elegantly crafted lanterns have held a major share of the Obon lantern market.
Now, artisans are using traditional lantern-making techniques to develop handbags and other new products.
The stone used for these lanterns can resist extreme temperatures and is conducive to moss growth. It can also be carved into unique shapes because it is soft and malleable.
In the white-walled Fukushima district of Yame, you will ﬁnd small shrines with statues made from Aso tuﬀ.
Children have played with tops since ancient times. In Japan, they are considered symbols of good luck.
Although Yame is more famous for Girls’ Day dolls, often displayed in boxes, craftsmen here also make Boys’ Day dolls, decorative arrows and battledores.
Made from powdered Japanese cedar pulverized by a water wheel, Yame incense is popular for its natural aroma.
Yame is known for crafts make from sturdy, high-quality bamboo grown in the area. Tebo, or bamboo tea-picking baskets, are a part of everyday life in Yame.
Traditional hand-made tubs made from locally grown wood can last 20-30 years with regular repairs.
This area is famous for the dark navy Kurume-kasuri textiles, but weavers make many other colorful combinations as well.
These are the arrows of choice for many traditional kyudo archers. They are renowned throughout Japan for their beautiful design and for ﬂying straight and true.
Numerous kilns, each making unique pieces, can be found in the Yame area.
Hoshino-yaki pottery flourished in the Edo period under the patronage of the Kurume Clan. Even today, Hoshino remains a highly regarded style of pottery.
An up-and-coming pottery kiln run by Shinichi Fuchinoue.
Onoko-yaki pottery began about 400 years ago when the head of the Yanagawa Clan brought some pieces back from the Korean Peninsula. For the next 80 years, it served as the official kiln of the clan.
Watch local masters assemble and carve Buddhist altars, make handmade Japanese paper, fabricate bamboo A craftsman crafts, and more!
Try your hand at making traditional handmade paper under the supervision of master craftsmen.