Edo-kiriko [江戸切子(えどきりこ)]

Edo-kiriko[江戸切子(えどきりこ)] is a kind of cut glasses and representative traditional craft in Tokyo. Kiriko means "cut glass". In 1985, Edo-kiriko was designated as a Traditional Craft Industry of Tokyo and in 2002, that was designated as a National Traditional Craft.


In the late Edo Period, 1834, it is said that Edo-kiriko was founded by a glass shop owner in Edo(now, Tokyo), Kyūbei Kagaya[加賀屋久兵衛(かがやきゅうべえ)] who was inspired by glass crafts from Europe. It is said that water-clear glasses were used for Edo-kiriko at that time. In 1873, a glass factory was established in Shinagawa, Tokyo and in 1881, an English engineer, Emanuel Hauptmann was invited for teaching cut glass techniques to Japanese craftsmen and the present Edo-kiriko was completed by those techniques.


Edo-kiriko is characterized by carving traditional patterns such as Yarai[矢来(やらい)](bamboo fence), Nanako[魚子(ななこ)](fish roes), Asa no Ha[麻の葉(あさのは)](hemp leaves) and Kiku[菊(きく)](chrysanthemum).

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Patterns of Edo-kiriko

There is another Kiriko that is called "Satsuma-kiriko[薩摩切子(さつまきりこ)]". That is a traditional craft in Kagoshima. The characteristic of Satsuma-kiriko is to use thick colored glass. On the other hand, Edo-kiriko is a thinner colored glass than Satsuma-kiriko or water-clear glass.

Satsuma-kiriko photo by ©鹿児島市

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