The road to Hakone marquetry
During the Heian period, turnery made by hollowing out wood using a lathe has been produced at Hayakawa in Odawara, located at the foot of Mt. Hakone, a national park, and surrounded by an abundance of natural forests. However, as trees that provided the wood for the craft became depleted during the Kamakura period, artisans relocated higher into Mt. Hakone in search of new lands. With the arrival of the Edo period travels along the Tōkaidō route linking Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto increased and spas were established to accommodate travelers. Hakone’s turnery products thus became souvenir items for the travelers. In time artisans who made joinery cases and cabinets also appeared in the area, eventually inspiring the Hakone marquetry.