It is said that the technique of making Hakone Yosegi Zaiku was invented by Ishikawa Nihei, a craftman in Hatajuku, Hakone, towards the end of the Edo era. As mountains in Hakone are blessed with various trees, Ishikawa took advantage of natural colours and shades of the woods to form geometric patterns. At the beginning, ran-Yosegi and tan I Yosegi moygou (pattern unit with basic designs) were mainly made. Today, as machines and means of processing have been improved, Yosegi Zaiku with a variety of elaborate patterns are produced. This traditional technique is highly original and cannot be found anywhere else in Japan.
This business has been designated as one of the traditional craft products with the stamp.
We met with the decendant of Ishikawa Nihei who gave us a demonstration on how he makes Yosegi Zaiku which is a really beautiful process.