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

Tokyo Chokin

Tokyo Chokin Photo

Using metals on the canvas to draw a Japanese painting
Chokin (metalchasing) techniques, used on Samurai swords and armor, underwent evolution in the 18th century due to the Katakiri-chokoku (half-cut carving) technique which was created to reproduce the brush strokes of Japanese paintings in carved metal form. This history led to Chokin becoming popular for use in everyday articles, including Kiseru (Japanese smoking pipes) and Netsuke (miniature sculptures attached to the ends of cords hanging from pouches), and the technique was highly acclaimed at the 1885 Metalworking International Exposition in Nurnberg, Germany. Katakiri-chokoku is a Japan-specific technique that uses just one side of a graver. Oblique carving against metal creates a difference between a deep-carved line and shallow-carved line. This difference creates shadings in carved lines, thus reproducing the blurred effect of the brushes used for Japanese paintings. The compositions, having wide margins and a limited number of colors emulate Japanese paintings. Different art forms, including Japanese paintings and metal carving, are harmonized in a completed work to realize the blend of different types of beauty sought by the craftsmen. The metal texture changes considerably over time and many people use the products for extended periods; for example, rings, pendants, obidome (ornament worn over an obi), metal oil lighters, and so on. The craftsmen treasure the relationships with clients and they are prepared to repair the products throughout their lifetimes.
Japan Metal Carving Guild
Address: 15-4, Yahara 3-chome, Nerima-ku, Tokyo