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A Traditional Japanese Craft
Izumi Tonbo Dama - Izumi Glass Beads
According to "History of Glass Industry in Japan," the Empress Jingu (170-269) took some glass bead artisans home
with her to Japan on her way to home after having conquered three major Korean cities. She had these glass
bead artisans live and work in Izumi no kuni (currently Sakai-shi), which was close to the Naniwa Imperial Court, and
they initiated the Japanese into how to make glass beads. It is said that this was the beginning of the history of glass beads in Japan.
During the Edo Era (1603-1867), the glass beads were widely known as "Senshuu
Dama" and "Saka Tonbo" in Japan. The art of
the glass bead making of today was established in the present Izumi-shi, Osaka in the early Meiji Era (1868-1912).
Kiyomatsu Kamiyama showed the art of glass bead making to the people in the town and Izumi-shi developed
as the center of glass bead production. Izumi Tonbo Dama are the glass beads that continued the tradition
of this history and Mr. Tokiharu Komizo was the only successor of the art and technique. Now, his daughter,
Ms. Yuriko Matsuda has exclusively taken over the traditions and practices in her own glass bead making.
Izumi Tonbodama has been designated as one of the Osaka's traditional craft by the Mayor of Osaka and
are only available at Ms. Yuriko Matsuda's studio called Sangetsu Koubou.
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Tokiharu Komizo (1934-2005)
Many thanks to the late Mr. Tokiharu Komizo and the director of Shinoda
no Mori Furusatokan for the generous permission for us to take