Glossary (Phrase list) >> Kamakura-bori

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Kamakura-bori 鎌倉彫


  Kamakura-bori is one of the most famous products that represent Kamakura's culture.


  It is said that craftwork was first made by a craftsman of the Buddhist statues calles Busshi 仏師.  They tried to mimic some artworks imported from Song Dynasty in the ancient China.  Their works were engraved and Urushi lacquer coated repeatedly.

  It's a story around 12C and Kamakura-bori is now designated as a National Traditional Craftwork.


* Busshi is completely different from Bushi 武士, while alphabetical writing and pronunciation of them are similar. Busshi is the craftsmen and Bushi is Japanese warriors.


  In the 13th century, many Busshi craftsmen who had been making Buddhist statues at Zen temples made Buddhist furniture of Kamakura-bori for those temples.

  It's said that the Buddhist table in Engakuji 円覚寺 and the Buddhist platform on which the statue is placed in Kenchoji 建長寺 show the very early style of Kamakura-bori.


  Those Buddhist crafts came to be applied to the tea utensils, dishes, trays and other daily items which were used also out of the temples together with the long flow of the times.  Their products were cherrished being called "Carvings made in Kamakura" all over the country.


  And now, we can see the Kamakura-bori applied to various items such as the old Buddhist furniture which are still used carefully at temples, the Jyuu-box at a long established broiled eel restaurant, for example, and even tableware at home.


Related page:

 "Kamakura bori Shop, Cafe" -Store list- 

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