Introduction to Hakone Inlaid Woodwork
The inlaid woodwork of Hakone and Odawara is a type of mosaic, but made from natural wood of various colours, however some products have parts which cannot be depicted just by natural wood, so the timber must be dyed. The skill to enable the dye to soak completely into the interior of the wood is something which has to be passed on down through generations, and in current times only Sadaji Uchida has been fully competent in this technique. The white parts of the wood can look as if there might be a stain, but please understand that this is a natural characteristic of the wood.
Moreover, the white colour of the wood is the result of bleaching by the wind and the rain which allows the colour to emerge. Clouds and running water contribute and this expression of colour is unconnected with any contamination.
We have been privileged to have had this valuable technique made available, so that our craftsmen through their skilful labour and much time can give enjoyment to everyone in the form of our inlaid woodwork masterpieces.
We shall do our best to continue to bring to you this wonderful marriage of nature and technique.
It is our fervent hope that you too will come to love this traditional art of Hakone and Odawara as much as we ourselves do.
- Certified as an official “Hakone Wood Inlay Craftsman”
- Won the prize by the governor of Kanagawa prefecture, at Hakone Craftsman contest Started teaching bird carving in Tokyo
- Made 15 bird carvings for the museum in Hiratsuka city; since, has continued making ornithological carvings for museums throughout Japan 1985 Studied bird carving at the Ward Foundation for three weeks in Maryland, USA
- Received a letter of appreciation from Japanese Society for Preservation of Birds
- Won honorable mention at the World Championship Competition by the Ward Foundation
- Displayed the carvings at the Rockefeller Ukiyo-e Collection Exhibition by the Mainichi Newspaper
- Moved to Pennsylvania, U.S.A. & won many ribbons and honors at various competitions in the US
Won the Best of Show and 1st place in California Open Contest
Won the “Third in World” at the competition presented by the Ward Foundation
- Move back to Japan
Displayed the carvings at the “Miller’s Collection” exhibition by TBS
Won the second and third place in the World Competition by the Ward Foundation
- Served as a judge (the first Japanese judge) at the World Competition
Won first and second place in the contest
- Held the first bird carving contest in Abiko, Chiba; which was the start of the Japan Bird Festival.
Won first place at the World Competition by the Ward Foundation
- Served as a judge at the World Competition
- Started teaching carving the Little Tern at a junior high school in Abiko, Chiba
- Served as a judge at the World Competition
Received a letter of appreciation from the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology
- Received a letter of appreciation from the Prince Akishinonomiya, the honorary president of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology
“Molecular Biology” awarded to a group including Dr. Hasegawa and myself, by the Toho University
Authorized as the Modern Master Craftsman by the Japanese Government
Received a letter of appreciation from the mayor of Abiko city
- Given the Abiko Culture and Sports Award of Honor by the mayor
“Rakudo Wood Inlay” was authorized as the traditional craft by the governor of Chiba prefecture
Received the commendation for the wildlife preservation from the Minister of Environment
- Held “Japan-Taiwan Friendship Carving Exhibition” in Taipei, Taiwan
- Received a letter of appreciation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for work with the endangered Short-tailed Albatross
- Displayed the Finches’ carvings at the National Museum of Science
Displayed Albatross decoy, hand puppets for hand raising chicks and more at the International Ornithological Congress in Tokyo
Other than these accolades, I have been working as a volunteer, making contributions to the community such as “Touch Carvings” for the blind, preservation activities by making decoys of Short-tailed Albatross and other species, designing hand puppets for hand-raising chicks, conducting wood carving classes for children, and more. My main work is as a wood inlay artist, however my passion is to help people connect with wild birds through wood carvings and taking action to save their habitat.
- Odawara Rotary Club commendation (Traditional craftsman)
- Awarded a prize commendation by the Odawara city mayor
(Contributor to enrichment of traditional craft)
- Kanagawa Prefecture Hakone Craft Skilled Technique Commendation. In the same year awarded recognition as an excellent craftsman by the Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture.
- Recognised by Kanagawa Prefecture as a meritous craftsman
- Received award from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Traditional Craft Industry Award)
- Work exhibited in London by the Japanese Tourism Board
- Ministry of Labour award
(Excellent craftsman, popularly known as a modern master)
- 1992 to 1995
- Working as a teacher in the traditional craft industry in Odawara, he instructed four young men in the traditional skills and nurtured them
as his successors.
- Awarded the Sixth Order of the Sacred Treasure July 17, 2010 Passed away