Traditional crafts in Taito city

Edo Bekko

Tortoiseshell Products

Tortoiseshell is made out of the tortoise shell silk gauze of the kind known as "hawksbill turtle". It's only a hawksbill turtle that can be used for jewelry and ornament as the material of crafts among all kinds of turtles.

The tortoiseshell history is old and a hawksbill turtle is also used for a biwa lute in the treasures in Shoso-in. It was thought to have started from the time of the Shogunate Government in Edo, but at that time just as simple crafts such as a shell and its workmanship was also easy.

In the Edo era of Genroku period, extended technique of bonding was transmitted to Edo, with a model now complicated, luxury combs, ornamental bodkin and 'kanzashi' were made along with the rise of the merchant culture.

It's before Tokyo forms three large producing center as well as Nagasaki and Osaka today, and it accounts for the majority by the volume of production. Lacquer work, as sculpted, and equipped with a new design sense such as eyeglasses' frames are the feature of Tokyo products.