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STORY #019

The “DATE Culture” Fostered by Masamune

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Sendai Ofude (Sendai writing brushes)<Sendai City>

It is believed to have been created by Masamune in 1614, for the purpose of promoting both the studies and industry of the domain, under the guidance of craftsmen of brushes invited from Osaka. The brush making prospered thereafter, and the reputation of carefully crafted Sendai writing brushes spread through Edo, Osaka and Kyoto. The representative brush the “Hagi Fude (writing brush with bush clover stem) made of the locally grown Miyaginohagi (Lespedeza thunbergii), many variations gained popularity, including “Goshiki Fude”, a set of five brushes with stems made with different woods (bush clover, pine, Japanese pampas grass, reed and knotweed), which was created in the Meiji era.
More information http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/45/

Tsutsumi ware <Sendai city>

Originally started as “Sugiyama Ware” during the Genroku period (1688 to 1704), the pottery makers spread out around the Tsutsumi-machi area to build there kilns, and thus this particular style of pottery was later known as Tsutsumi ware. The use of black and white glazes dynamically poured on is referred to as “Namako (sea cucumber) glaze”, which has the representative characteristics of this simple yet powerful pottery. “Tsutsumi ware Kenba Kiln was established when the founding potter was given permission to copy the book of secret owned by the master potter in Edo named MIURA Kenya, and was given the potter title of Kenba.
More information http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/46/

Tsutsumi dolls<Sendai city>

Believed to have developed from Tsutsumi ware around the Genroku period (1688 to 1704), Tsutsumi dolls are three-dimensional version of ukiyo-e painting style. Having its peak during Bunka-Bunsei period (1804 to 1830), Tsutsumi dolls are considered to be one of the two major origins of clay dolls along with Fushimi dolls of Kyoto, and are regarded as the greatest of all local clay dolls.
More information http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/47/

Sendai Hariko<Sendai city>

The inventor of this craft is considered to be a vassal named MATSUKAWA Toyonoshin of the Sendai domain from the Tenpo period (1830 to 1844). “Matsukawa Daruma”, which is known for the blue daruma, is the common type of Sendai Hariko. With their faces rimmed with indigo and their bodies painted colorfully with pictures of treasure ship or deities of luck, “Matsukawa Daruma” is popular among the common people as a lucky charm since the old times.
More information http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/49/

Sendai Tansu<Sendai city>

The production of Sendai Tansu (chest of drawers) started around the end of Edo period, and the Sendai Tansu of today was fixated around Meiji and Taisho periods. 4-shaku (4feet) tansu being the original form, they are made primarily of Japanese Zelkova wood and finished in “Kijiro-nuri (clear-coat finish that emphasizes the beauty of the grain of the wood).” In addition, they are decorated with handmade-metal fittings in shapes of peony and Chinese lions. Durable and massive tansu can only be created by skillful craftsmen. It was designated as a National Traditional Craft in 2015.
More information http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/50/