Yatsuyanagi has been producing Kabazaiku for about 150 years since its establishment. Using the bark of the mountain cherry tree that Akita Prefecture in Japan, the craftsmen take their time to finish each piece of Kabazaiku, a beautiful organic craftwork, with millimeter-level precision.

History of Yatsuyanagi

Yatsuyanagi is a manufacturer of a craft called Kabazaiku, which is made from the bark of mountain cherry trees native to the Tohoku region of Japan. Since its establishment in 1876, Yatsuyanagi has been engaged in the manufacture and sale of Kabazaiku for generations in Kakunodate, Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, a place rich in nature. Yatsuyanagi took over the proud signboard with "Kabazaiku" written on it from Nagamatsuya Shoten, which was originally the first wholesaler of Kabazaiku in Kakunodate.

From the Taisho and early Showa periods (1912-1989), the company also made Kabazaiku wooden geta (clogs), and in the 1945s, a representative of the company and her son once peddled their products by Inland line with beautiful views of mountains in autumn colors, to Akita.

For nearly 150 years, from 1876 to the present, Yatsuyanagi has been passing on the traditional Kabazaiku methods and techniques handed down in Kakunodate to new generations.

The craftsmen have improved their precision skills to the point where they can influence the smallest unit of a millimeter, and they are constantly innovating their products and designs to meet the needs of today's life. The beautiful shine of cherry bark, which gives us a sense of nature's blessings, is transformed into tools that enrich our lives and are still being delivered to us today.

Yatsuyanagi and the Nature

Kakunodate, in Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, is also known as the "Little Kyoto at the end of the road," with its historic samurai residences and beautiful rows of cherry trees. It was a castle town that flourished during the Edo period, and some of the traditional Japanese houses are still in use as residences today. Kabazaiku was originally a sideline craft for the lower class samurai.

The cherry blossoms in spring, the fresh greenery in summer, the colored leaves in fall, and the snowy landscape in winter, each of these four seasons offers its own beautiful and emotional scenery, and the cherry blossoms of Kakunodate in particular are a natural treasure of Japan. 

The bark of the mountain cherry tree used for Kabazaiku absorbs a lot of water during the rainy season from June to July, and dries up and peels off easily during the summer months. Only during the two months of the year is possible to collect good quality bark.

 Yatsuyanagi carefully uses the bark, as a gift from nature, without wasting any of the material. Taking the cherry bark does not kill the trees. they are committed to preserving sustainable nature and to the coexistence and co-prosperity of nature and traditional crafts of Kabazaiku. Yatsuyanagi is also actively involved in planting wild mountain cherry trees on fallow land.

Signature Products

Yatsuyanagi Shell Inlay Original Akita Cherry Bark Work Tea Canister

This tea canister, created by Yatsuyanagi, is made of cherry bark work from Akita Prefecture and decorated with a cherry blossom motif using shell inlays. The glossy brown cherry bark has a moist texture and a beautiful shine. The inside is also made of cherry bark, a traditional and advanced technique.

The bark of the wild cherry tree has moisture-regulating and antibacterial properties that help keep the tea leaves fresh and tasty.
Of course, it also has an inner lid to keep the tea leaves in optimal condition.

This is a piece of work that you will cherish for a lifetime, filled with all of the craftsmanship.

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