Color Your Life with Sakura Bark Ware (Kabazaiku)

Sakura (Cherry blossoms) is in full bloom in my place . 桜前線(Sakura zensen)- the sakura front is going up to the northern part of Japan, and will bloom soon in Akita, Aomori.

 

 

 

In the previous article Eat and Taste Sakura Blossoms, I introduced you how to enjoy sakura with baking. This time I will introduce you to great craftwork using sakura.

 

Here are 茶托 (Chataku) -tea saucers I use at home. 

 

 

Don't they look nice? What do you think they are made from? They are made from wild cherry bark. 

I also have a tea canister. I've used it for more than 20 years. 

 

 

These are called Kabazaiku (樺細工)-Cherry bark ware. 

Kabazaiku(樺細工) has been passed on from generation to generation since the 18th century as a traditional craftwork in Kakunodate, Akita. There are not any other places which produce it. So the craftwork made from wild cherry bark is a very special and unique to this area.

 

山桜"Yamazakura" -wild cherry tree-

 

Here is the process of making Kabazaiku.

Firstly, bark is taken from wild cherry trees during September to October. Secondly,  the bark is dried for almost 2 years.  Thirdly, it is polished, cleaned and then made to products.

Now you might think it is harmful for the trees and nature to take the bark from the trees. You don’t need to worry about it. 

A traditional method has been inherited by wood specialists called Yamashi(山師) who harvest the bark to ensure that it will grow back even after harvesting. The tree whose bark was taken by Yamashi will regrow it in a few years, and it can be used for Kabazaiku once again. 

 

There are many types of Kabazaiku, such as trays, plates, business card holders, fountain pens etc. Here are also some tea ware. There are 茶さじ (Chasaji)-tea scoops.

  

 

Koizumi: Sakura bark tea scoop chasaji (Simple Design) 5-233

Maruei Takeo 40832: Chasaji Tea Scoop: Sakura Design

 

The next ones are 茶筒(Chazutsu)- tea canisters. Tea canisters are especially famous products in Kabazaiku.

It is because one aspect of cherry bark is that it does not allow air to pass through it. Also the cherry bark works as an insulator against change in humidity which is good to keep tea leaves dry, so it is very suitable material for tea storage containers. 

There is also a great thing that long-time use gives an additional charm to the tea canister. By holding it with your hands, your fingers polish the wood. The canister can keep an elegant luster by itself and will fascinate us with a texture that deepens over time. 

The tea canister I've used at home for more than 20 years keeps the luster !  Also I feel the color is getting deeper, which I love. It is nice, isn't it? It would be nice for you to have one at home and it can become a part of your family.

 

Look ! Here are tea canisters we have in our shop. It is beautiful !! 

 

 

Fujiki Denshiro: Sakura Blossom Design Chazutsu 

 

  

 

 

Fujiki Denshiro: Obizutsu Tea Canister - Sakura

 

The inside is also beautiful.

 

  

It could be nice to buy it once in your life. After enjoying it, you can pass it down to someone in the next generation !

 

 

 

 

This time I introduced you Sakura bark ware (Kabazaiku). I've shown you something about sakura for the last 2 articles. I am happy if you enjoyed them. 

Have a nice time!!

 

Today's recommendation 

Fujiki Denshiro

Fujiki Denshiro was established in 1851 as a kabazaiku wholesaler and transformed into the premier kabazaiku manufacturing studio by the late 6th generation owner Koichi Fujiki.

 

[ Items in the article ] 

Koizumi: Sakura bark tea scoop chasaji (Simple Design) 5-233

Maruei Takeo 40832: Chasaji Tea Scoop: Sakura Design

Fujiki Denshiro: Sakura Blossom Design Chazutsu 

Fujiki Denshiro: Obizutsu Tea Canister - Sakura 

 Other items: Private items 

 

[ Other articles about Sakura, 2021 ]

 

 

 

DenshiroKabazaikuSakuraSakura bark

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