The 19th Exhibition of Traditional Wood and Bamboo Works

Regarding this Exhibition of Traditional Wood and Bamboo Works


This exhibition presents works of kōgei (traditional crafts) that employ wood or bamboo as their main material.


Since ancient times, Japanese people have always considered the beauty of nature surrounding them as something to be admired, loved, and enjoyed. In addition, there are also works of kōgei that have been created by artists who aim to create beauty in everyday items. Tableware, vases, boxes for writing utensils, household furnishings and other items are all imbued with an elegance far surpassing mere utility, they possess a long tradition and are referred to collectively as ‘kōgei.’


The concept of ‘art’ varies somewhat between Japan and the West. In the West, the phrase ‘fine art’ is limited to painting, sculpture and other fields unrelated to everyday life that are produced purely for aesthetic and intellectual appeal. Traditionally in Japan, however, artists did not differentiate between ornamental items and those created for practical use, the latter often being works of art in their own right. Therefore, although the word ‘kōgei’ is often translated as ‘craft,’ this does not adequately express the true value of these works.


Japanese kōgei are generally categorized according to the materials they employ: ‘ceramics,’ ‘textiles,’ ‘urushi work (lacquerware),’ ‘metalwork,’ ‘woodwork and bamboo work,’ dolls,’ and ‘various works.’ The majority of artists focus on a single category as mastering even one requires a great deal of experience and research, taking many years to master all the necessary techniques.


The Japan Kōgei Association, which sponsors this exhibition, is the largest association of artists working in the kōgei field and it divides the work into the seven categories listed above.


This exhibition presents works from the ‘woodwork and bamboo work’ section. Wood and bamboo are both materials with deep roots in the Japanese environment. Stretching 3,800 kilometers from north to south and with a wide range of elevations, Japan enjoys a temperate climate with ample rainfall, giving rise to a diverse variety of vegetation, including beautiful timber and bamboo. Since earliest times, works of kōgei have been produced to highlight this beauty and these have always remained highly prized. Today, we continue to strive to carry on and refine the aesthetic values and superior techniques these represent and this exhibition aims to introduce the results of our efforts to the public.


The Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, which acts as both co-sponsor and venue for this exhibition, is the only existing museum specializing in Japanese woodworking tools that are highly acclaimed around the world. The works in this exhibition are mostly made by hand using traditional methods and the tools employed can be seen on display in the museum. One of the key features of this exhibition is that visitors are able see both the tools and works that have been made with them.


Most of these works of kōgei are small enough to be appreciated in the palm of one's hand and we hope you will be able to imagine a lifestyle in which works like those on display can be enjoyed in your daily life.

SUDA Kenji


Wood and Bamboo Works Section

Japan Kōgei Association

The 19th Exhibition of Traditional Wood and Bamboo Works

>Official Link HERE



2023 May 13 (Sat) ~ June 18 (Sun)



Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum 1F Hall



9:30 – 16:30 (last admission 16:00)



Mondays (The following day when Monday falls on a national holiday)



Adults¥700, Seniors (65 and over) / Students(College/University, High School)¥500, Students(Elementary, Junior High School):Free

*Including permanent exhibition fee



The Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum is located near the Shin-Kobe Station on the foot of Mount Rokko in Kobe. This station is accessed by Shinkansen bullet train or subway. Nearby, you can visit the Hyogo Performing Arts Center and other tourist sites such as the Ijinkan-Gai and the Nunobiki Herb Gardens.>Official Link HERE