Toyooka Kiryuzaiku(豊岡杞柳細工)

Traditional crafts

1.What is Toyooka kiryuzaiku?

It is a woodwork product made around Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture.

It is said that it started by knitting a basket with “Koriyanagi” that grows naturally around the Maruyama River, and it was established as an industry when Toyooka was a busy castle town.


Although it has a gentle texture of natural materials, it is durable due to the characteristics of supple and tough willow.

Each product is woven by craftsmen one by one, and it is a practical traditional craft that is full of warmth and blends into your life.

There are a wide variety of knitting methods, including 6 types of rope knitting, 33 types of side knitting (sokuami), and 18 types of adoption (fuchigumi).

By combining them, various shapes can be formed.

Traditionally, square accessory cases that are set with lids used as lunch boxes and round boxes with depth were mainly made, but recently, modern designs with a modern twist have been made. The backs made by Kiryuzaiku are also popular.


The origin is said to be around the beginning of the 1st century, and in 27 AD (Emperor Suinin 56), the prince of Silla, Amenohiboko Mikoto, introduced willow work to Japan. It is said to start from the beginning.

It is believed that the technique, which began by knitting baskets and other daily necessities using willows that grow naturally in the wastelands of the Maruyama River, was established around the 9th century, and is called “Tajima domestic willow box”. The work of craftsmanship is left in Shosoin of Todaiji Temple.

During the Edo period, Kyogoku Takamori cultivated willow, promoted technology, and strengthened sales to develop it as a willow craft industry, and it became a well-known craft throughout the country.

In the Meiji era, the production of Western-style handbags began, and in the Taisho era, basket-shaped bags with locks became popular and were called “Taisho baskets”.

In recent years, around 1965 (Showa 40), the wisteria bean basket, which was used by Prince Tokuhito during his time at Gakushuin Kindergarten, became a hot topic and became a hot topic, and he expanded into the fields of miscellaneous goods and interiors. doing.

2. Working process

① Bottom knitting

First, we will knit from the bottom part, but we will knit with a thick log willow that will be the axis of knitting.

Then, we knit it with a thin willow that becomes “miso” at right angles to the vertical.

The result will differ depending on how much the Amiso is pulled.

Knit while paying attention to whether it is knitted according to the dimensions.

② Lid knitting

Then knit the lid, but with more vertical than the bottom.

Amiso uses a thin and good-looking willow.

After knitting, match the curve of the lid.

③ Fix the bottom to the bottom of the wooden mold and point it to the vertical.

While checking the mark at the vertical position, make a hole between the marks with a flat binding.

Insert the “vertical” so that the cut end faces downward where you made the hole.

Then, while bending the “vertical”, we will harden it with rope knitting.

Then knit about 2 laps and attach cores to both sides of the vertical.

④ Side knitting

After knitting the rope with three rounds, we will gradually climb using various techniques such as “parallel knitting”, “flying knitting”, “shrike knitting”, and “armor knitting”.

After knitting to the required position, pull out the wooden pattern and “frame” it.

A technique called “worship edge” is used to make it fit the lid.

When there are two vertical pieces that stand at the end, we will knit through each of them while using the binding.

Finally, cut off the unnecessary willow with a knife and shape it to complete the body part.

⑤ Top lid knitting

Knit in the same way as the bottom according to the mold.

⑥ Make a handle

A ring of “rattan” is used as the core, and a thin willow is wrapped around it to make a handle.

⑦ Attach the handle and lid

Pass the braided willow string through and connect it to the lid.

This is completed.

3. Traditional craftsman

Takumi Terauchi

“Takumi Kogei” is the only company in Toyooka that produces “Yanagikouri”.

As a craftsman, I go around department store events.

I continue to make works that embody the craftsmanship and thoughts that support tradition.

Not only that, the workshop is also focusing on nurturing the next generation of craftsmen.

I feel the enthusiasm and the weight of tradition that “I can’t stop the work of Kiryuzaiku”.

4. Impressions

It is a traditional craft that you can directly feel the history of 1200 years.

The functionality that creates many works with one knitting and continues to support the owner for a long time is perfect.

The more you use it, the more it tastes, and I think it’s an art that you can really create only one work in the world.

While it takes months to make one work, I think that the attitude of actively working to nurture the next generation will be a very good example of our lives.

Next time preview

Thank you for reading to the end!

I would also like to post some interesting things about Kansai.

Then, have a good trip from now on!

PS. We provide various information about Kansai in Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you would like to visit or experience it!