Carving the appeal of nature  “Ichii Itto Bori (Yew wood carvings), Traditional craftsman, Hisayuki Wani”

Carving the appeal of nature
"Ichii Itto Bori (Yew wood carvings), Traditional craftsman, Hisayuki Wani"

 

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Making the most of the natural color of yew wood

“Ichii Itto Bori” is a traditional ”kogei” of the Hida region in Gifu Prefecture. Wood used for ”Ichii Itto Bori” is, literally, the ichii (yew) wood.
The trunk of yew has two distinct parts, each with separate colors of white and red. The characteristics of yew wood carving is that no stains are applied on the artwork, as the wood is carved to bring out the best features of these colors.
It is said that yew carving was founded in late Edo period by Suketomo Hirata, a ”netsuke” (miniature carving) craftsman from Edo, and his student Sukenaga Matsuda.

At first, ”netsuke” of small animals such as turtles, frogs, and birds were made. There are two types of work left by them – those carved with simple abbreviated lines, and those that are true to life. ”Ichii Itto Bori” continued to develop, and presently a wide range of work is being made, like masks and Buddha statues.

Carving facial expressions

Nakata interviewed Hisayuki Wani, who entered the world of ”Ichii Itto Carving” at the age of 16. Many of his pieces are characterized by warm smiles, and many customers purchases his pieces because they are draw n to the expressions.
”Ichii Itto Bori” was certified as a Traditional Kogei by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1975. Craftsmen breath life into the artwork while making the most of the beauty of nature – that is the style of this traditional ”kogei”.

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Traditional Craftsman Hisayuki Wani
1-296-6 Morishitamachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture