Edo Kiriko Tokyo

What is Edo Kiriko?

A handicraft with a pattern on the surface of glass, which has been passed down since the Edo period. In the Meiji era, a unique craft technique was established by incorporating the technique of European cut glass (kiriko). There are about 20 kinds of patterns unique to Edo Kiriko, and the motif is nature such as flowers and plants that have been familiar since ancient times in Japan. Designated as a national traditional craft in 2002 (Heisei 14). As one of Japan's leading crafts, modern craftsmen have inherited the technique, mainly in Koto Ward and Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

History and technology of Edo Kiriko

It is said that Edo Kiriko began in 1834 (Tenpo 5) when Kyubei Kagaya, a vidoroya in Edo Denma-cho, imitated a cut glass made in England and worked on the surface of transparent glass. When Kurofune arrived in 1853 (Kaei 6), Kagaya's Kiriko bottle was presented as a gift to Perry, and there is a story that Perry was surprised at its splendor.
Edo Kiriko was transparent at that time. The use of colored glass as it is now was due to the influence of another Japanese facet, "Satsuma Kiriko". Satsuma Kiriko, who was promoted by the Satsuma Domain and developed an original method for coloring glass, lost its technology before and after the Satsuma Rebellion. However, the Satsuma Kiriko craftsmen headed to Edo and generously gave the technique as Edo Kiriko craftsmen. Until now, the technology of blue and red covered glass has permeated Edo Kiriko in this way.
The charm of Edo Kiriko lies in its brilliance and fine patterns. Many of them are designed with familiar items such as basket crests, roe crests, cloisonne crests, and hemp leaf crests. The delicate pattern created by combining these conveys the essence of Edo to the present.
At Edo Kiriko, we assign reference lines and dots and proceed with cutting along the marks. Only the eyes of craftsmen and the hands with high technical skills can carve out fine patterns. The thickness, depth and balance of the line depend only on the experience of the craftsman. However, 400 years after the start of production in the late Edo period, the technology that has been handed down without interruption will continue to carve out traditional designs without hesitation.
Edo Kiriko continues to color the Japanese dining table with its dignified brilliance. As a world-class Japanese glass craft, it will continue to fascinate the world.