Techniques and Traditions Passed Down to the Present Day

Techniques and Traditions Passed Down to the Present Day

As the era turned from one of war to one of tranquility, many of the craftsmen engaged in manufacturing armor for the House of Ii turned to manufacturing Buddhist altars with the support of the Domain. The Hikone Buddhist altars thus produced were formed using a variety of craft techniques known as the kōbushichishoku, or seven industrial arts. These traditions and techniques have been passed down to the present day in their original form.

  1. Lacquer Work

    Lacquer Work

    Lacquer, which adds elegance and durability, is painted on layer upon layer and then polished to a beautiful sheen.

  2. Applying Gold Leaf

    Applying Gold Leaf

    Glittering gold leaf sheets as thin as 1/10,000 of a millimeter are individually hand applied through the use of skillful techniques.

  3. Assembly


    To complete the kacchū, the parts constructed through these processes are carefully bound together using leather cords, braids, and other materials.
    *The leather cords in the photo on the right are a specially made product.
    *To improve the quality of the kacchū, some parts, such as iron plates and braids, are produced outside of Hikone.