arts & crafts

Inspired by the peace and natural environment, many artists and craftspeople live and work on Yakushima.  Here’s a little information about the arts & crafts you can come across on the island.

やくすぎYaku sugi Crafts

The felling of Yakusugi is strictly prohibited.  However, ‘domaiboku’ , the name given to the fallen trees and stumps of Yaku sugi found in the forests, can still be harvested and used to produce a wide range of Yaku sugi crafts. 

Characteristics of Yaku sugi are its high resin content which preserves it in the damp forest for hundreds of years.  It has densely packed rings and the wood is lightweight.  There is a limit to the amount of domaiboku wood that can be taken from the forests and this adds great value to the works of art.  As a substitute for Yakus sugi then local woodworkers resort to using ‘ko sugi’ (the term given to young sugi).  The price tag will tell you whether its real Yaku sugi or not!  There are a variety of workshops around Yakushima that you can visit and see the craftspeople at work  Go to the Shopping page to find out more.

 

Yakushima ceramicPottery

Several potters have their studios on Yakushima.  Due to the plentiful supply of timber they can operate traditional wood-fired kilns.  They occasionally use shells, coral and elements of the granite rock during the firing process to produce interesting glazing effects.  Local souvenir and craft shops often stock their work. Check out the Shopping section for a selection of outlets on the island.

 

yuko takadaArtists

Yakushima craftspeople and artists are attracted to the island by its peace and inspiring natural environment.  There are a few small galleries scattered around the island and some of the souvenir shops also display artists’ work.  Keep your eyes open as you travel around the island for their workshops.