Japan UTEP Home Page Information Tokyo Gifu Prefecture Educational Reform School Visits in Gifu Japanese Families and Homes Japanese Culture Conferences Attended

Traditional Wood Carving - Ichii Ittobori

     Using the wood of the yew tree, carvings are produced by a traditional technique using 40-50 kinds of chisels. After carving with sharp chisels and as the year passes, good color and luster improve naturally. This is distinguished by the beauty in the texture of the wood. As I toured the city of Seki, it was common to see shops selling meticulously carved Buddha wooden figures. Mr. and Mrs. Hioki (my Seki host family) went out one evening (while I stayed home tutoring their son Takeo, and helping him review for his upcoming English test) and brought back three beautiful wooden carved Buddha statues in different sizes and postures. They gave them to me as a present while telling me that they went to buy it from a friend whose family was well-known and very respected in the town for his wood-carving art. Gifu residents offer Buddha statues as gifts to help the receiver obtain happiness in his/her life. The story goes like this: Enku shonin, a holy priest from Gifu prefecture, went on a pilgrimage all over the country to carve Buddha statues for all kinds of happiness. He is considered the Japanese Van Gogh because of the sharp cuts he created in the amazing shapes.


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•Send comments to www@utep.eduInformation Technology December 4, 2001



Basic Information

Seki City and Charter

Cormorant Fishing

Sword Making (Katana)

Traditional Wood
    Carving (Ichii Ittobori)

Gifu Countryside