I never realized how writing this blog would reach out in so many ways to readers all over the world. Yukari Shimizu of Japan is a loyal reader. She recently told me about the amazing carved wood pendants made by Shimaya/Shemaiah.   The Japanese artisan behind these incredible and innovative 3D carved open work pendants is Daiajima Daihakuunsai.

Musashino-bori is his trademark.  There is a reason for this name. He lived and started his work in Musashino-shi (-shi means city) - the old name for an area which is now part of Tokyo.

He was originally inspired by sculptures in shrines and temples called "ranma". These are carved and engraved wooden transoms. His challenge was to transform these into much smaller accessories. Over time, he has developed a style which has become popular with people who love Japanese traditional art and symbols. These are sometimes custom ordered to celebrate an event or as a souvenir for people overseas.

The Japanese call wooden tags like these "kifuda". This craftsman uses fine quality “Japanese box”, a rare and noble wood from Mikurashima Island which is about 200 km south of Tokyo. This fine textured and strong wood is typically used for Japanese "netsuke", old fashioned Japanese hair combs and Japanese "shogi" (chess) pieces.

His work is exquisitely detailed considering how small the tags are. The wood is deliberately left bare -  no varnish is used. So it needs to be stored somewhere dry.

This accomplished artist can design practically anything - from Japanese writing to detailed nature inspired pieces as well as imaginary ones like dragons. His unisex designs can be purchased through his website. Check out his blog for more designs.  It is not in English, so you will have to translate as you would for tutorials.

My heartfelt hanks to Yukari for all her help contacting and talking to this outstanding artist, thus making this post possible.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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