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Yame Bamboo Crafts

Yame Bamboo Crafts

About Yame Bamboo Crafts

Utilizing the characteristics of the durable matake bamboo, workers display beautiful knitting.
Yame is the origin of good quality bamboo, which is used in tools, from familiar farm tools, to lifestyle tools, etc.

Since long ago, bamboo craftsmen have been prosperous in the Yame region where there is a high quality bamboo. There is an emphasis on practicality, lifestyle tools, and agricultural tools that are easy to use, durable and made for everyday life. Yame bamboo craftsmen mainly use Madake bamboo and enjoy the process of the bamboo changing from bamboo to a candy color while they are using it. Bamboo is also used for many crafts in Yame. Bamboo nails made from thin bamboo sticks are used in the Yame Fukushima Buddhist altars. The same bamboo sticks (takehigo) are also used in Yame lanterns. Yadake is a bamboo that is used to make the Yame arrow, and a variety of other purposes. Light and durable, bamboo is a pliable material that is used in many crafts, building materials and most recently, textiles and dishes.

The History of Yame Bamboo Crafts

Yame bamboo crafts emphasizes practicality for lifestyle and agricultural tools. Easy to use and durable, bamboo is a familiar lifestyle tool. Bamboo workers thrived because the Yame region had an abundance of quality bamboo.

* Climate conditions are perfect for growing bamboo. In Japan, the Fukuoka Prefecture is the only area where white skin bamboo can be found in an area called, Hoshino village. It is used in sandals, tables and balen, a scraping tool covered in bamboo, used in hanga, a Japanese engraving technique. As the Kurume Clan’s "domestic product" in the Edo Period, it was exported at the end of the Tokugawa Period.
* White skin bamboo is a type of Madake bamboo, which the locals call, Shiratake (white bamboo).

With climate conditions like this, agricultural tools and household goods, such as bamboo baskets, umbrellas, etc. have primarily been made for about 300 years.

Bamboo groves
Rice baskets (meshikago)
Rice baskets (meshikago)
whitewashed wall

Bamboo has been used for many years in Japanese life, but it is also used for Yame’s many crafts. For example, bamboo nails made using thin bamboo sticks (takehigo) are used in the Yame Fukushima Buddhist altars and Yame lanterns. Another type of bamboo is used for the Yame arrow. In addition, it is used in a variety of other ways, such as in fishing rods, tools used for making crafts, as well as the whitewashed wall buildings in Yame.

Reference material: History of Hirokawa Town, History of Kurume City

  1. Bamboo groves are in every part of Yame.
  2. Rice baskets (meshikago) were used to preserve cooked rice.
  3. Rice baskets (meshikago) were used during a time with no refrigerators. It can be hung from a beam or someplace in the home that has good breathability.
  4. Bamboo is also used in the whitewashed wall area of Yame.

Characteristics of Yame Bamboo Crafts

Yame bamboo crafts are durable. Bamboo is inserted into the part that you want to reinforce, such as the bottom of the basket. Handles and ties make it easy to hold. The force is mainly centered in the bottom of the basket, since that area is easily damaged. Reinforcements are made according to use.
When it comes to water, adding legs improves straining. It is a durable basket that can be used for pushing or carrying things around. They are created so that you can make the necessary repairs while using it for years to come. There are Yame bamboo craftsmen specializing in rice baskets (meshikago), miso strainers, and a variety of other products. Yame craftsmen are specialists, who make tools that are efficient and easy to use. In the past, each craftsman would walk throughout Kyushu selling their products. Today, the number of craftsmen working in bamboo is decreasing. Many products are made for a specific purpose. Yame bamboo craftsmen mainly use Madake bamboo.
* Rice baskets (meshikago) are also called "Karui".

Yame Bamboo Basket Reinforcement
Yame Bamboo Basket Adding handles
Yame Bamboo Basket Reinforcement
Baskets with legs attached
  1. Bamboo is reinforced from the bottom of the basket.
  2. Adding handles to a basket
  3. It’s reinforced so that the bottom is strong.
  4. Baskets with legs attached for improved straining