Visit Yame

Handicrafts

Yame’s Crafts

Yame’s history has progressed along with its traditional crafts. Buddhist altars and paper lanterns have been produced since the Edo period (17th-19th centuries),
and handmade washi papers have been made since approximately 400 years ago.
This region is also renowned for its stone lanterns, and Yame’s masonry can be traced back to the human- and horse-shaped stone monuments that were placed around burial mounds in the Kofun period (AD 250 to 538).
The refined craftsmanship is alive in this quaint city’s traditional townscapes. Leisurely immerse yourself in Yame by visiting artisan’s workshops, strolling around the town,and enjoying a delicious Yamecha (Yame tea) break or two.

  • Yame Fukushima Buddhist AltarsThe pinnacle of craftsmanship

    Nationally Designated Traditional Craft
    Yame Fukushima Buddhist Altars
    Yame Fukushima Buddhist Altars
    Yame Fukushima Buddhist Altars

    Craftsmen began making Buddhist altars in this area in 1821. Time-tested techniques are used to apply lacquer and gold leaf.

    Yame Fukushima Buddhist Altars

    Nowadays, the artisans also use their expertise to craft metal accessories and lacquered interior pieces.

  • Yame Handmade Japanese PaperThe paper of choice of many artists

    Prefecturally Designated Specialty Craft
    Yame Handmade Japanese Paper
    Yame Handmade Japanese Paper
    Yame Handmade Japanese Paper

    Locally sourced mulberry, which has longer fibers than other plants, yields tough yet elegant handmade paper. Yame handmade paper was the paper of choice of the famous printmaker Shiko Munakata.

    Yame Handmade Japanese Paper

    Yame handmade paper is used for lacquered papier-mâché and shoji paper screens, and with some additional processing, it can also be used to make stylish bags.

  • Yame LanternTraditional paper lanterns for Obon

    Nationally Designated Traditional Craft
    Yame Lantern
    Yame Lantern
    Yame Lantern

    Yame’s paper lanterns, made from Yame’s own handmade Japanese paper, are decorated with flowers, birds and landscapes. Since the Taisho period (1912-1926), these elegantly crafted lanterns have held a major share of the Obon lantern market.

    Yame Lantern

    Now, artisans are using traditional lantern-making techniques to develop handbags and other new products.

  • Yame Stone LanternsSimple and sublime stonework

    Prefecturally Designated Specialty Craft
    Yame Stone Lanterns
    Yame Stone Lanterns
    Yame Stone Lanterns

    The stone used for these lanterns can resist extreme temperatures and is conducive to moss growth. It can also be carved into unique shapes because it is soft and malleable.

    Yame Stone Lanterns

    In the white-walled Fukushima district of Yame, you will find small shrines with statues made from Aso tuff.

  • Yame Japanese TopsPrefecturally Designated Specialty Craf

    Yame Japanese Tops
    Yame Japanese Tops

    Children have played with tops since ancient times. In Japan, they are considered symbols of good luck.

  • Festival Dolls

    Festival Dolls
    Festival Dolls

    Although Yame is more famous for Girls’ Day dolls, often displayed in boxes, craftsmen here also make Boys’ Day dolls, decorative arrows and battledores.

  • Incense Stick

    Incense Stick
    Incense Stick

    Made from powdered Japanese cedar pulverized by a water wheel, Yame incense is popular for its natural aroma.

  • Yame Bamboo Ware Prefecturally Designated Specialty Craft

    Yame Bamboo Ware
    Yame Bamboo Ware

    Yame is known for crafts make from sturdy, high-quality bamboo grown in the area. Tebo, or bamboo tea-picking baskets, are a part of everyday life in Yame.

  • Wooden Tubs

    Wooden Tubs
    Wooden Tubs

    Traditional hand-made tubs made from locally grown wood can last 20-30 years with regular repairs.

  • Kurume-gasuri

    Kurume-gasuri
    Kurume-gasuri

    This area is famous for the dark navy Kurume-gasuri textiles, but weavers make many other colorful combinations as well.

  • Yame Arrow Prefecturally Designated Specialty Craft

    Yame Arrow

    These are the arrows of choice for many traditional kyudo archers. They are renowned throughout Japan for their beautiful design and for flying straight and true.

Yame Pottery

Numerous kilns, each making unique pieces, can be found in the Yame area.

Yame Arrow

Hoshino-yaki pottery (Hoshino)

Hoshino-yaki pottery flourished in the Edo period under the patronage of the Kurume Clan. Even today, Hoshino remains a highly regarded style of pottery.

Yame Arrow

Ganzuki-yaki Gozen-gama (Yabe)

An up-and-coming pottery kiln run by Shinichi Fuchinoue.

Yame Arrow

Onoko-yaki pottery (Tachibana)

Onoko-yaki pottery began about 400 years ago when the head of the Yanagawa Clan brought some pieces back from the Korean Peninsula. For the next 80 years, it served as the official kiln of the clan.

Yame Traditional Crafts Center

Yame Traditional Crafts Center

Craftsmanship Demos

Watch local masters assemble and carve Buddhist altars, make handmade Japanese paper, fabricate bamboo A craftsman crafts, and more!

Yame Traditional Crafts Center

Hands-on Workshops

Try your hand at making traditional handmade paper under the supervision of master craftsmen.