Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品

Edo Bekko

Edo Bekko Photo

Comfortably fit for your outline.
Edo Bekko (tortoiseshell product) is made from the shell of Taimai (hawksbill turtle), a kind of sea turtle. Transactions of this shell is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Washington Convention), but domestic sale is not prohibited according to the Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and other acts. Taimai is found mainly in the southeastern seas and Indian Ocean, characterized by their transparent yellow base and dark brown spots. Compared to other kinds of turtles, they have beautiful patterns and the shell is easy to work by heat. That is why they have been used for hairdressing implements including Kanzashi (ornamental hairpins) and Kogai hairpins. The first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu of the Edo Shogunate, was a regular user of Bekko spectacle frames. Craftsmen’s skills are represented by the bonding process. No two combinations of patterned and base shell sections are the same, each one expressing the individuality of the person who made it. A pair of spectacles is soft to the skin and has a property of softness, fitting to the face outline. Bekko accessories, including bracelets and rings, are safe for those who are allergic to metals. Only a plectrum of Bekko can make the best sound of Shamisen (a traditional Japanese three-stringed musical instrument): craftsmen are producing special works utilizing characteristics of this rare natural material.
Tokyo Bekko (Tortoiseshell) Cooperative Association
Address: Keshohinkaikan Bldg, 4F, 10-5, Higashinihonbashi 2-chome, Chuo-ku,
Tokyo