A Traditional Craft of Aichi

Mikawa Butsudan (Buddhist family altar)
Keeping history and cultural values alive

Mikawa Butsudan

It is recorded that in 1235, Shinran, a holy priest, preached Buddhism at Myogenji temple in Yahagi Town, Okazaki City, and in 1256, another holy priest Kenchi preached at Yakushiji temple in Kuwako in the same town. People's faith in Buddhism in the Mikawa district has a very long history. With the benefits of the protective policy by the Tokugawa Family, Mikawa Butsudan enjoyed great prosperity. These days, however, younger people are attracted by modern industries such as the auto industry and children of the craftsmen tend to leave their family occupation. The shortage of successors in the Butsudan industry is serious.

In order to hand down the long and distinguished history of Mikawa Butsudan and its value as cultural assets over to future generations, Mikawa Butsudan Promotion Cooperative and other industrial sectors are carrying out various kinds of promotional activity.

Materials traditionally used
  1. Wood: Japanese cypress, zelkova, himekomatsu, magnolia hypoleuca, yew, sennoki, or other timbers of similar quality
  2. Metal fittings: copper, copper alloy, or other materials of similar quality
  3. Lacquer: natural lacquer
Manufacturing districts
Cities of Toyohashi, Okazaki, Handa, Toyokawa, Hekinan, Kariya, Toyota, Anjo, Nishio, Gamagori, Tokoname, Shinsiro, Tokai, Obu, Chiryu, Takahama, and Toyoake
Towns of Higashiura and Taketoyo in Chita County,
Town of Isshiki in Hazu County, Koda Town in Nukata County, Miyoshi Town in Nishikamo County,
Asuke Town and Shimoyama Village in Higashikamo County,
Mito Town in Hoi County, and Tawara Town in Atsumi County
Date when designated as a traditional craft
December 15, 1976
Numbers of business establishments and workers
133 establishments and 515 workers