Kamakura has of course a Kamakura Bori Museum: Kamakura Bori Kaikan.
It is situated in the middle of the city on the main street on the way to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kamakura’s most important shrine, which was founded by Monamoto Yoriyoshi in 1063, and enlarged and moved to its current site in 1180 by Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura government.
The Kamakura Bori Material Museum, Shiryukan is on the first floor.
When you enter there is kind of a little shrine. Inside all the names of the Kamakura Bori Master Artists are written. It takes at least 25 years of education and experience to become a Kamakura Bori artist.
They have quite a historical selection from some 400 works from the Muromachi Period (1338 – 1573) to the present, approximately 100 are on permanent display.
The works are all beautiful and individually striking. But some stuck out for me.
A small tray with the Phoenix bird designed by Itsuku Goto.
This Tsubakimon-oi (carrier box) was shouldered by shugen-ja, monks who lived in the mountains). The box held images of Buddha, sutra scrolls, and daily necessities. The doors are often, as from this one, decorated with camelias.
But I found one with Shiratori carved on one of the little sliding doors! Isn’t it beautiful?
This is a space for individual exhibits, which are also permanently on display. One of the modern works hanging on the wall.
Videos showing the history of Kamakura Bori and the process can be viewed in the video room.
In the museum shop one can purchase all the tools and materials needed to make Kamakura Bori. On the second floor and up of the Kaikan, classes are being offered and assemblies are being held by the Kamakura Masters Committee.