Ichii-Ittobori Wood Carving
The Hida region is a hub for furniture and cabinet making, and for various types of wooden handicrafts. Even in this modern age, traditional techniques continue to be handed down from master to apprentice.
“Ichii-Ittobori” stands for carving (“hori”) yew wood, which was considered the finest wood (“ichii”), using one knife or with one cut (“itto”). The craft was developed at the end of the Edo Period, by engraver Matsuda Sukenaga (1800-1871) who produced a netsuke carving out of local yew tree wood, making use of its fine texture and leaving the product uncolored so as to preserve the beauty of its natural grain. Yew trees are evergreens and are known to age well: not only will an engraved yew produce a distinct sheen but the shades also deepen over time.