Woodwork was developed with the introduction of Buddhism.
Edo-Sashimono has been developed with the Japanese history.

What is Sashimono?

Sashimono is a Traditional craft of wooden furniture.
Sashimono was named after putting two wooden pieces together without using nails.It seems delicate, but we are using special techniques called “HOZO” which is using the hidden notch and groove to lock the two wooden pieces.

Sashimono classified into two, “KYO-SASHIMONO” and “EDO-SASHIMONO”


KYO-SASHIMONO developed with Imperial court culture and Tea Ceremony, it is elegant and gorgeous. In contrast, EDO-SASHIMONO is simple and stylish in nature. it was used regularly by Samurai, Trader and Kabuki actor etc…

Sashimono has special feature which is using a few metal parts as possible and special technique called “Hukiurushi-shiage” which is coating and wiping with Japanese lacquer more than 10 times. Another point of Edo-Sashimono is one product made by one craftsman for whole process.

Today, Edo-sashimono is designated as Traditional Crafts of Japan and protected by law.There are strict conditions for designation. Mogami-Kogei has been following these standards that is made by domestic woods and all the special techniques stipulated by law.

Edo-sashimono has been carrying the old tradition, and not relayed on imported woods and strictly using Japanese woods, following the traditional style, this may be rare nowadays.

Example of EDO-Sashimono

History of Sashimono

Sashimono is established more than a thousand years ago. Various techniques were developed since Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Between 10th and 12th century, “Hako-tsukurii” became popular among the Imperial court, nobles and monks. This was considered to be the origin of Sashimono. There is an ancient document that mentioned the Sashimono craftsman in Muromachi period(12th century).

furniture for Imperial family, nobles, and monks.
-An old painting carrying a box of Hako-tsukuri-

From Azuchi-Momoyama Period through the beginning of Edo-Period (over 150years), Sashimono production increased drastically. Behind this trend, culture of Imperial court and Sen no Rikyu who perfected the art of tea ceremony influenced public culture. As a result, growing demand for Sashimono and improvement of techniques made the foundation of woodwork.

In the Edo Period, large number of craftsmen from all over the country moved to Edo by the government’s order, they made their own community around Kanda and Nihombashi area. Ever since, carpentry work was divided into each specialize field with the growth of the industry. There is a book called Jinrin-kinmouzui that mentioned about Sashimono craftsman.

*** Jinrin-kinmouzui : guide book for craftman.

Since then, Edo (present day Tokyo) became the economic center in Japan, and the creation of new culture began. In Genroku Period (1688-1703), the new culture called Edomae and Edo-fu matured, in contrast with Kansai-fu or Kyo-fu which is gorgeous and luxurious, Edomae and Edo-fu pursued high quality materials and sophisticated products, its aesthetic spirit we called “Iki” that influenced once life.

***Edomae, Edo-fu : Edo style
***Kansai-fu : Kansai region style
***Kyo-fu : Kyoto style
***Iki : moden, cool,stylish.

Edomae grew gradually, Sashimono industry too was making Sashimono not only for the Samurai and Traders but also began making for Rien Sashimono . All the traditional techniques have been carrying even to these days.

***Rien Sashimono: Sashimono for Kabuki actor.

(Reference materials: Edo-Sashimono written by Yasuo Seki, Brochure of Edo-Sashimono issued by Edo-Sashimono cooperative)