Tochigi Traditional Craft Products

Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Product Designation

Overview

The "Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Product" designation refers to crafts passed down from generation to generation, fostered by the natural and cultural climate of Tochigi as well as the lifestyles of its local people. This designation is conferred not only to boost the fame and popularity of chosen products, but also to promote the development of relevant industries and provide lifestyles filled with repose and comfort to Tochigi Prefecture's citizens while helping the local economy grow and prosper.

Designation Criteria

1. As the primary requirement, the item(s) in question must be designed for use in daily life
2. The primary production processes must be carried out by hand (handicraft manufacturing)
3. The item(s) in question must be made using traditional techniques/methods  
4. The primary materials used to make the item(s) must be those traditionally utilized in its production
In addition to fulfilling the above criteria, the item(s) in question must have been first made at least 100 years ago. If it originates from a location outside of the current Tochigi Prefecture's borders, the production of the item(s) in question must have been founded at least 50 years ago and continued operations up to the present in the said prefecture or by a manufacturing cooperative or similar organization of the said municipality.

Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Product Mark

The mark's overall shape resembles the character "to" (pronounced "toh"; first character in "Tochigi"), which symbolizes Tochigi Prefecture as a whole. It also features the word denko (meaning "traditional crafts"), whose red design appears poised to advance forward as it moves into the future, on the base of this prefectural image.

Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Tool Designation

This refers to traditional Tochigi tools that have been passed down over the generations and are used create the abovementioned traditional craft products. Such tools are also specially designated, with their designation criteria based on the traditional craft products they are utilized to produce.

Nationally Designated Traditional Craft Products

National designation involves requirements specific to the relevant production region in addition to the prefectural designation criteria. In Tochigi Prefecture, the following two crafts have received national designations.
◆ Yuki-tsumugi (Yuki silk cloth): Designated on March 30, 1977. Produced under the Tochigi-ken Honba Yuki-tsumugi Orimono Cooperative.
◆ Mashiko-yaki (Mashiko ware): Designated on August 3, 1979. Produced under the Mashiko-yaki Cooperative

Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craftsperson Certification

Overview

Among persons who produce Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Products, those possessing sufficiently sophisticated skills and techniques are eligible to receive the "Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craftsperson" designation. This designation serves to bolster their reputation in society while also striving to promote greater desire for involvement in that field or fields as well as efforts toward improving relevant technologies and techniques with the aim of fostering successors and preserving traditional crafts for future generations to experience and enjoy.

Certification Criteria

1. At least 12 years of experience making Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Products as well as continuing involvement in those production operations up to the present
2. Possession of sophisticated skills/techniques relevant to the production of Tochigi Prefecture Traditional Craft Products
3. Involvement in efforts to promote a traditional craft industry or industries as well as the intent to continue with such involvement into the future