Toyooka’s 1,200 Years of Traditional Bag Crafting

Toyooka City, Japan – When people think of Kinosaki, they think of onsen (hot springs), due to the town being known for its seven public bathhouses located throughout the area. But for Toyooka, the downtown district, what instead comes to mind are luxury handbags. Toyooka is quintessential to Japan as the backbone of the handbag industry. Today there are many handbag artisans in Toyooka, but only one remains who still weaves wicker bags by hand in the traditional way. He is not merely the only craftsman left in Toyooka but in all of Japan.

Wicker Trunk Craftsman from Japan

This man, named Takumi Terauchi, has been making traditional wicker trunks (Yanagi-gori) for over 50 years. Living in Izushi – 25 minutes by bus from the downtown area of Toyooka – Terauchi is the only craftsman in Japan who has received…

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