Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditonal Arts and Crafts - Part Two

Following on from our introduction to the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts which can be seen in the link below, today we are covering the remaining traditional crafts of ishikawa Prefecture!

Kaga Cypress Wickerwork

Due to the lightness, breathability and durability of the cypress wickerwork, it was first made into hats for work in the forests and farms. Nowadays, ceiling decorations, baskets and flower baskets are also made and are being appreciated as simple folk art pieces.

Kaga Inlay

Inlaying is the process of decoration by carving a design into the base metal and then inlaying the groove with gold, silver or other metals. The unique feature of Kaga inlay lies in the “Hira-zogan” technique, where the inner part of the groove is carved in a trapezoid like shape to prevent the inlaid metal from falling out.

Kanazawa Scroll Mounts

A simple, refined finish is one of the distinguishing features of the Kanazawa region scroll mounts. Production techniques as well as restoration techniques have advanced, and today the restoration of cultural assets is being actively carried out.

Bamboo Wickerwork

The bamboo wickerwork has developed in association with the tea ceremony and flower arrangement. Although many household utensils were made, today, due to the increase of industrial products, only flower baskets and other equipments for the tea ceremony are made by the highly sophisticated pattern weaving technique.

Kaga Tsurugi Edged Steel

Just as the town’s name “Tsurugi” (now Hakusan city) meaning sword, cutlery smithing has flourished in Tsurugi for many years. Items produced include agricultural and forestry tools and household utensils. Today very unique hoes, sickles and hatchets are made upon order.

Kanazawa Buddhist Altar

The charm point of the Kanazawa Buddhist Altar is the beauty of the elegant gold Urushi lacquer. The gold thread embroidery applied on the silk screen of the inner door, shells and ivory inlaid in the lacquer are all characteristics of the Kanazawa Buddhist Altar.

Nanao Buddhist Altar

The characteristic of the Nanao Buddhist Altar is its incomparably solid structure. Since it was mainly constructed for the rural farmers of Noto Peninsular region, large doors which can be folded in several times (like an accordion) are created. Also, to facilitate disassembly for transportation, the “mortise technique” was developed.

Mikawa Buddhist Altar

These altars require the application of numerous Urushi lacquering, gold inlay and embroidery techniques. Among them is the “Tsuikoku” technique where a three-demensional pattern is cut out from the layers and layers of Urushi lacquers.


Nanao Japanese Candles

The wick of a candle is extremely important to create the stable and beautiful flame. The pith of rush is wrapped around the Japanese paper, and then cotton is applied using special glue. The thick wick made in this manner creates a natural and beautiful flame.

Kaga Decorative Fishing Flies Bait

The feathers of various wild birds are used for the lure. Gold leaf and Urushi lacquer are used at the joint of the lure, making it beautiful and elegant. Furthermore, the lure is wrapped around by extra-fine threads, which makes it extremely durable. Nowadays, these kinds of techniques are used to make accessories and products that fit the modern daily lives.

Kaga Fishing Rod

Durability in all weather conditions, sturdiness and being lightweight are all required in a fishing rod. The Kaga Fishing Rod is able to obtain such characteristics by heating the young bamboo at high temperature to make it tough; then it is further strengthened with coatings of Urushi lacquer.

Kanazawa Traditional Local Toys

Local toys were originally made for children; however, some are used to bring good luck, or as presents for birthdays or for a sick person. Miniature lion dance masks, rice-cake pounding rabbits and rice-eating mouse are just some examples of popular local toys.

Kanazawa Koto (Japanese Zither)

The learning of the 13-string koto was once a traditional custom for young daughters in the samurai families. The features of the Kanazawa Koto include the generous amount of elegant Urushi lacquer decoration and pearl-applying work techniques. The koto is regarded not only as an instrument but also as a piece of art and decoration.

Kanazawa Sangen (Three String Instrument)

Also known as the Shamisen, it is an essential instrument for the traditional Japanese music, folk songs and nagauta music. The art of its playing is maintained in Kanazawa region where traditional entertainment is still flourished in this city.

Kaga Taiko (Drums)

The Taiko made in Ishikawa prefecture is known nationwide for its beautiful sound. The making of the drum is a consistent operation. Starting from drying the tree (zelkova and others), the skin used for the head of the drum is then tanned. This is how a drum with high durability and unique sound is created.

Kanazawa Bronze Gong

Sahari, a material used to create gongs, is an alloy of bronze and tin. The alloy is poured into the mold and hammered; then lacquer is applied and is fired. The rich and lingering yet soft sound is greatly appreciated at tea ceremonies.

Kaga Lion Dance Mask

The lion dance mask is said to have developed from the lion dance to celebrate the first lord of Kaga Domain, Toshiie Maeda’s entering into Kanazawa region. The lion dance masks, produced by the local craftsmen, were placed in each town as guardians.

Kaga Lantern

The feature of Kaga Lantern is that the bamboo ribs inside are individual separate rings, allowing it to stretch under pressure. Unlike lanterns with the spiral frames, even if a rib broke, the Kaga lantern would not fall apart, making these lanterns highly durable. Today, lanterns are made for city festivals and decorations.

Kaga Mizuhiki (Paper Wire)

“Mizuhiki” has been used as decorations mainly in celebrations. Brightly colored or gilded, these strands of starched paper are woven into various shapes. Today, not only wedding ornaments but dolls are also made.

Noto Fireworks

The Noto rocket fireworks consist of four parts: the “star” (balls of gunpowder with colors), gunpowder to break the outer shell, the outer shell, and blasting fuse. The “star” determines the sound, the color of the light and how it explodes into the sky.

Address: 1-1 Kenroku-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
920-0936, Japan
Tel: 076-262-2020

Museum Hours: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm (last admittance at 4:30 pm)

Closed: April to November: 3rd Thursday of the month (except Holiday Thursdays). December to March: Thursdays. The year-end and New Year holidays


1st floor:
2nd floor:
Adults ¥260
Seniors (65 and older) ¥200
Students (17 and under) ¥100
Children (6 and under) Free