Inden – Japanese deerskin craft


100 Gifts from Japan

#1 Inden – Deerskin Craft

Inden is a deerskin craft with four hundred years tradition.

Deerskin was originally used to make certain parts of samurai armor, due to its softness, lightness, flexibility and strength. Koshu-Inden, lacquered deerskin made in koshu (present Yamanashi), was founded by Uehara Yushichi, whose name has been handed down for 13 generations.

Inden goods are made of deerskin processed in a special technique. The deerskin is tanned, dyed and silksceened with colorful lacquers in contemporary and traditional patterns.

Among Inden goods are purses, wallets, belts, handbags, shoulder bags and various other kinds of accessories.

Inden goods are not only beautiful Japanese tradition but they also last for long time since these techniques were originally used to harden samurai armor parts.


Traditional Inden patterns

Inden products use typical Japanese patterns in many colors. Here is a selection of the most common patters:


How Inden is made


Examples of Inden Products

Nowadays Inden products such as business card holders, key holders bags and other accessories are very popular in Japan. The NIHON ICHIBAN shop offers a selection of Inden products from Indenya Uehara – the leading producer of Inden that was established in 1582.

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