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 Tegaki Chochin

Edo Tegaki Chochin Photo

Handwritten textures represent family traditions.
Chochin (lantern) can create warmness in the space, thanks to the candle light coming through paper. Its history goes back to the 16th century. Thereafter, it is said that a prototype of the current shape was created as an expanding and contracting type, made of thin-bamboo round frame pasted with paper. It became popular among ordinary people as indispensable lighting equipment from the 17th to 19th century. Edo TegakiChochin (hand-painted paper lanterns) inherits the traditional methods to draw characters and family crests of that time. Family crest is a pattern to show owner’s genealogy and birth, displayed on the ornaments and arms, which is similar to heraldic emblems used by European nobles and knights. For each family, the detailed orders and rules of drawing are prescribed, but a craftsman can draw any complicated family crest by free hand, and keeps the “Edo patterns Ewith appropriate balance of characters and crests. That high-level technique is applied to new attempts. Recently craftsmen may draw animation characters, logos, or foreigner’s name in phonetic equivalent using Kanji characters. Lanterns are portable when contracted, but have a strong impression when extended. They are good for souvenirs to decorate the room casually when used as an interior accessory or a lampshade.
Tokyo Paper Lantern Manufacturing Guild
Address: c/o Namidabashioshimaya, 29-6, Minamisenju 2-chome, Arakawa-ku,