TEXTILES ・ APPAREL
The Textile industry has thrived in Gifu city and its surrounding area since the pre-war period. Post-war, the apparel industry developed as production used unified technology to advance raw yarn and twisted yarn techniques, fabric, knit and staining as well as apparel planning, design and sewing etc.
In recent years, this industry has flourished not only through production but also in thepro-active participation in exhibitions.
It has been said that plastic processing in Gifu Prefecture began with a chemical company producing electrical parts in Gifu city in 1942.
Currently industrial and automotive parts as well as construction materials etc. are widely produced. Through product technology, other daily uses of plastic have developed, such as interior goods and kitchenware.
The whole Tono Eastern area (Tajimi, Toki, Mizunami) is blessed with high quality clay suitable for pottery. The history of pottery in the Mino Region in Gifu Prefecture started in the 7th Century when “Sue pottery (Sueki)” was fired in special types of kiln and developed with the tea ceremony in the Azuchi Momoyama period (1568 – 1600) producing the world class “Momoyama pottery (Momoyama Koto)” It is now known as “Mino ware (Mino-yaki)”.
Gifu Prefecture has occupied the top share for shipments of Japanese ceramics, western tableware and tiles in the whole country for many years.
Mino Washi paper is said to have more than a 1300 year history. Mino city has developed as a productive land due to the harvest of a huge number of high quality mulberry trees, the bark of which is used as raw material of the paper as well as being blessed with the clear waters of the Nagara and Itadori rivers.
Mino washi has a delicate, fine texture and is also highly popular abroad. While we respect tradition, we also constantly try to suggest new ways of using washi in our daily life, this can be seen through product development by foreign designers.
“Hon Mino Washi”, with its long history of fostering stylish techniques was registered on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list as “Washi, the craftsmanship of traditional Japanese hand-made paper” in November 2014.
METAL & KNIVES
Seki city, with its high quality charcoal, water and so called ‘grilled blade’ soil, has produced famous swordsmen such as Magoroku Kanemoto and Izuminokami Kanesada in the Muromachi period (ca.1336- 1573) and has since flourished as a huge productive land for swords. The sword in Seki held both practical and artistic qualities with elaborate designs loved by many military commanders in the past.
After the Meiji Restoration, due to the decree of banning the carrying of swords, most production shifted to developing household knives, the craft has since been used in our current times for making high quality products like kitchen knives, razors, scissors and pocket knives etc. not only for the domestic market, but also to export to countries worldwide.
In Gifu Prefecture, mountainous forests cover more than 80% of the land and this provides rich woodland resources. A wide range of products have been created using “Tono-cypress” and “Hida-oak” from furniture, folk art to household goods.
“Hida no Takumi” – woodwork artisans responsible for building the Imperial cities of historical Heijo kyo and Heian-kyo were representative of the advanced woodwork technology. Such techniques have continued through generations to present times and are still used in the production of Hida furniture such as chairs and tables etc.
MANUFACTURED FOODS & SAKE
Gifu Prefecture is located nearly exactly in the center of Japan and therefore has both a mix of both eastern and western cultures. The land is divided into the Mino Region -a relatively flatland and the Hida Region -an area where mountain peaks exceed 3,000 meters above sea level. This area is therefore known as "Hizan Nosui" (translated directly as Hida's mountains and Mino's waters”). The climate, natural features, available ingredients and the food culture based on these elements is hugely different depending on the area. Due to the each area’s distinguished ingredients and food culture, a wide variety of manufactured food has been produced. In addition Sake brewing flourishes by benefitting from the rich clear waters flowing throughout the prefecture and there are over 50 Sake breweries within this area.