The History

Yosegi-Zaiku was developed in Hatajuku, Hakone, which was an inn in the late Edo period (1603-1867). This inn was on the famed Tokaido Road. It is said to have started when ISHIKAWA Nihei, a resident of Hatajuku, focused on the characteristics of the mountains of Hakone, where there were many different types of trees, and made trays and boxes from a variety of wood ; different colors and grains.

Warring states period(1467-1603)

1556 There was a production of Hiki-mono in Hatajuku, Hakone.

Edo period(1603-1868)

1791 Publication of "Tokaido Meisho Zukai". Hakone-Zaiku was introduced as a specialty of Yumoto-Chaya.
1820 Fissel, a Dutch scholar of Japan, saw and purchased Yosegi-Zaiku at Hakone inn and Yumoto.
*The first appearance of Yosegi-Zaiku in Hakone.
1845-48 It is said that ISHIKAWA Nihei in Hatajuku come up with the skills and techniques of Yosegi-Zaiku.
1854 The port of Shimoda opened. MYOGAYA Hataemon in Hatajuku went to Shimoda to sell Hakone-Zaiku.
1859 MYOGAYA Hataemon, KANAZASHI Rokuzaemon, and others from Hatajuku opened stores in Yokohama.

Meiji period(1868-1912)

1877 The first National Industrial Exhibition was held. MATSUI Yasubei in Ohiradai exhibited lacquerware.
1892 SHIRAKAWA Senseki in Yumoto-Chaya created the current technique of wood inlays.
1894 OKAWA Ryujiro in Yumoto invented a Himitsubako, secret box.
1897 Around this time, YAMANAKA Tsunetaro in Odawara invented Kumiki-Zaiku.
1909 The Hakone Products Trade Association was organized.

Taisho period(1912-1926)

1912 Production of coaster sets and white powder containers for export was flourished.
1919 Zuku-Bari pen boxes became popular.
1914 Exports increased due to the Great War Economy.
1923 The many factories of Hakone-Zaiku got damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake.

Showa period(1926-1989)

1943 The Hakone Bussan Woodwork Products Trade Association (Formerly the Hakone Bussan Trade Association) was dissolved.
At that time, the Hakone-Zaiku factories replaced their production with munitions.
1950 Kanagawa Prefecture Craft Exhibition was held.
Hakone-Zaiku won many prizes.
1951 The Federation of Hakone Product Cooperatives is formed.
1955 Hakone Products General Exhibition was held. (This is the first post-war exhibition of only Hakone products.)
Due to the Japanese high economic growth, exports increased.
1984 "Hakone-Yosegi-Zaiku" is designated as a traditional craft by the International Trade and Industry of Ministry.