Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Shizuoka City , Shizuoka Related category:
Providing the Warmth of Wood from a Mountain Village - Production Techniques of Ikawa Menpa -    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 55 minutes
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Ikawa is a mountain village located in Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, along the uppermost reaches of the Oi River. This was a flourishing gold mining area during the middle ages, and the people in the Kogouchi settlement located below the gold mines passed down techniques for producing magemono (dishes created by bending wooden boards) until the prewar period, together with a legend which illustrates the origins of the production of magemono. These techniques for creating magemono have been preserved in the production of Ikawa menpa, which continues today.
Ikawa menpa are magemono lunch boxes made of lacquered natural cypress, and require an astonishing 48 processing steps to reach completion. Although manufacturers have decreased in number recently, the practical strength of these products and their deep, inner warmth have attracted many fans, with the result that people continue to actively purchase these products.
This documentary video is an important work in which viewers can observe the entire menpa production process from creating wooden base materials to the lacquering of completed products together with a narration provided by a manufacturer.

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