Bamboo craft handed down in region known for bamboo production
Oita is the largest producer of long-jointed bamboo. Beppu bamboo craft is Japan’s National Traditional Kogei which began with baskets used for door to door sales in the Muromachi era. When Beppu Onsen became famous nationwide in the Edo era, daily use items such as basket type rice containers, and baskets for straining rice were sold to people who came to the hot springs for treatment. Bamboo products also became popular as souvenirs, and as demand increased, the market expanded and became the local industry of Beppu. The bamboo craft technique was passed on among the traditional craftsmen, with new designs being developed in response to consumer demand.
What is a ”vannier”?
Hearing about a new group of female craftsmen in Oita, Nakata visited them. The name of the group is ”Vannier,” which means ”bamboo craftsman” in French. Utilizing their feminine senses to produce elegant pieces with womanly softness, there are currently seven members who work independently in various parts of Oita, occasionally getting together for study sessions, sharing new pieces or techniques, exchanging opinions and inspiring each other.
- Studio Rokuri
- Beppu-shi, Oita Prefecture