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

Makabe Ishidoro

Makabe Ishidoro Photo

Good quality granite found in the Makabe area of Ibaraki Prefecture has been used to make a variety of useful articles since ancient times. The actual working of stone in the area began around the end of the Muromachi period (1333-1568) with the making of Buddhist stone articles around Nagaoka in Makabe-cho. The earliest confirmed Makabe Ishidoro stands in the temple compound in Makabe-cho. It was made by Kubota Kichibei in 1824, and he was responsible for establishing the skills and techniques of the craft. Special features of these lightly colored lanterns are their superb craftsmanship, the light touch of the beautiful carving and their sense of weightiness. They provide traditional Japanese gardens with an added quality and elegance, their special features being accentuated further by the moss which tends to grow on the stone. Apart from garden items, lanterns and other items are also made for use at shrines and temples.