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3/11/2019

okeya bucket maker

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .
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okeya 桶屋 bucket maker

oke 桶 bucket, taru 樽 barrel (made from wood)
They are used for many purposes.
In Edo, many worked in the Kyobashi 京橋 district and also in Okemachi.


酒樽屋 実は桶屋 - Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎

Buckets of all sizes were used for many activities in the lives of the Edo people. Most buckets were made from wood, with a more or less deep bottom.
They were used for washing robes or rice, keeping Tsukemono pickles, and
keeping cooked rice (komebitsu 米櫃 rice stocker).


source : japan-design.imazy.net/jp/crafts/azmaya...


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... traveling artisans ...
to use wooden buckets and barrels to hold liquids. The boards of buckets and barrels are held together with cylindrical hoops, and when the hoops got old and broke or bent, a specialist artisan would repair them by binding them with new pieces of bamboo. These too could be efficiently repaired on the spot if one called a traveling artisan who carried materials and tools with him.
Furutaru-kai (Used-barrel Buyers)
In the past, barrels were the most common containers for liquids, so the barrels would be owned by drinking establishments, or in the case of “uchitaru” (literally “home barrels”), they were owned by the person who bought them. However, there were some barrels where it wasn’t clear who the owner was, and in that case, when the barrels were empty, they were no longer needed, and their ownership was in question.
here were special merchants who bought those old barrels, and there were specialty barrel wholesaler stores. There were even empty barrel wholesalers on the main streets in Nihonbashi, showing that it must have been a big business.
- reference source : edo-period-recycling -



source : mirukikukaku/e

風が吹けば桶屋が儲かる If the wind blows, the Okeya makes good money . . .
The humorous reason is a bit difficult to understand:

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①大風で土ぼこりが立つ If strong wind blows, there will be a lot of dust.
②土ぼこりが目に入って、盲人が増える If dust comes into the eyes, people will get blind,.
③盲人は三味線を買う(当時の盲人が就ける職に由来)Blind people buy Shamisen string instruments to make a living.
④三味線に使う猫皮が必要になり、ネコが殺される To make Shamisen, the skin of cats is used.
⑤ネコが減ればネズミが増える If there are fewer cats, there are more mice.
⑥ネズミは桶を囓る Mice will gnaw at the OKE barrels.
⑦桶の需要が増え桶屋が儲か Therefore the Okeya will have more work to do.
- reference : mirukikukaku/e-

Well, he also made kanoke 棺桶 coffins.
And if the wind blows, there will be a fire somewhere and then . . .
So he also made suitable buckets to carry water from the waterway.
Others specialized in buckets and barrels for bathing or keeping Sake.

According to its use, the thickness and type of the wood varied considerable. And buckets for liquids had to be especially tight. The wood was fastened with stripes of bamboo.



- quote
Nakagawa Shuji: Oke Maker
Shuji Nakagawa is a Japanese traditional craftsman of woodworks and a contemporary artist. He creates his works using a various woodwork techniques especially Japanese traditional wooden pail technique.
- source : handmade/shuji-nakagawa
- source : www.kyotojournal.org


. My entries with OKE .

. shokunin  職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan .


- - - - - Different types of OKE



- source : kotobank.jp/word... -

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taru 樽 barrel
taru kai 樽買い / taruya 樽屋 buying barrels, making barrels
furudaru kai 古樽買い buying old barrels

Barrels were used to keep all kinds of liquids. The most important was Sake 酒 rice wine.
Some homes had their own barrel for sake, 家樽. Some of these had no special owner or lost him, and were collected by a specialist, who brought them to the wholesaler of empty barrels, 空き樽専門問屋. Many of these wholesalers had their home at 日本橋の大通り Nihonbashi, so it seems it was a lucrative business.
This is one of the recycle businesses of Edo.



. My entries with taru 樽 .

- quote -
... people usually used wooden tubs and barrels to store liquids. Wooden tubs and barrels were made of wooden slats fastened by bamboo hoops. When the hoops aged and broke or warped, the craftsmen fixed the tubs and barrels with new bamboo fasteners.
... the barrels used to store products of fermentation such as sake, soy sauce and miso were invariably made from cross-grained slats to prevent leaks, while tubs, such as those used for sushi (vinegared rice), were normally made of straight-grained slats to help absorb excess water. Both barrels and tubs are made in the same way, with a round base being slotted into a cylindrical arrangement of slats which is then held together tightly by hoops to prevent leakage of the contents.

The hoops used traditionally in Japan were made of woven bamboo strips, and so tended to stretch and loosen in time due to the constant strain and moisture to which they were exposed. These days, barrels with loose hoops would just be thrown out, but in the past there were specialized artisans (effectively a subset of coopers) who made a living from replacing old barrel hoops with new ones.

In the Edo period, there were merchants who specialized in the buying and selling of the masses of barrels circulating. In fact this was a major business at that time, and since the merchants would have bought barrels in various conditions of disrepair, I imagine that they would have employed fulltime coopers to carry out all the necessary refurbishing.

According to a historian' s survey, the sake barrels being shipped from the Osaka and Kyoto area were all of a certain size that was much larger than the size used in Edo, and so it seems likely that Edo barrel merchants also used coopers to dismantle such large barrels and turn them into the smaller size used in Edo.
- source : Eisuke Ishikawa : Sustainability in EDO -


. Doing Business in Edo - 江戸の商売 .

. okechoo, okemachi、桶町 Okecho, "Bucket district" in Edo .
Many bucket makers lived in this area.
hibachi 火鉢 brazier


quote
A cooper is a person trained to make wooden casks, barrels, vats, buckets, tubs, troughs and other staved containers from timber that was usually heated or steamed to make it pliable. Journeymen coopers also traditionally made wooden implements, such as rakes and wooden-bladed shovels.

In addition to wood, other materials, such as iron, were used in the manufacturing process.
source : wikipedia



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- ABC - List of oke from the Prefectures


................................................................................ Akita 秋田県



- quote -
Akitasugi oke taru 秋田杉桶樽 Akita Cedar Cooperage
Elements of tubs dating from the 15th and 16th centuries have been discovered at the former site of Akita castle. Records dating from the beginning of the 17th century kept by one of the old families of the Akita clan, make it clear that tubs were being used at a sake maker within the present-day district of Ogatsu-cho.
There are also 19th century examples of different types of barrels and tubs preserved by the Aoyagi family of another district, Kakunodate-cho. They have a coating of lacquer and both copper and bamboo bands were used, and the shapes are the ones which are followed today.
The wood from natural stands of local cedar has a fine straight grain and besides having a wonderful scent, it is not prone to distortion as the wood moves so little. The superb quality of the wood contributes to the warmth of this craft and brings both charm and a sense of quality to the lives of those that use these tubs and barrels. The scent of the wood is especially contributive to the value of such items as Japanese bath tubs, tubs for sushi, beer tankards, sake flasks, and rice tubs. Flower vases, too, benefit from the wood in a different way, as do candy tubs and umbrella stands.
- source : kougeihin.jp.e... -


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. . . CLICK here for Photos 桶屋 !

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .



................................................................................. Iwate 岩手県
岩手郡 Iwate district

. Yamanba, Yamauba 山姥 old mountain hag .
Once upon a time, a bucket maker went to the mountains to cut bamboo and then made a fire, when an old mountain hag appeared. She could read all the thoughts of the bucket maker but he just kept roasting the bamboo when a spark flew over to her. So she cried and said she can not trust humans any more and never came by.




................................................................................. Kyoto 京都府
京都市 Kyoto city

a Tanuki named 八兵衛狸 Hachibei at temple 建仁寺 Kennin-Ji
The wicked Tanuki Hachibei from the Temple Kennin-Ji often took just one geta 下駄 wooden sandal from a visitor.
He often ordered a lot of food from the local Sobaya 蕎麦屋 Buckwheat shop.
Around 1897, the owner of the bucket maker shop caught the Tanuki and threw him into the river 加茂川 Kamogawa.

. tanuki 狸 - mujina 狢 - racoon dog, badger legends .




................................................................................. Nagasaki 長崎県

赤毛の牡牛 The Bull with red hair
Once a bucket maker was walking back home late at night when something huge appeared right in front of him. He almost lost his lantern and saw a bull with red hair standing there. He wanted to run away but could not, so he crossed his legs and sat down on the ground. He said
生あるものなら家に来い - If you are a living being, come to my home.
Thus the bull disappeared, but the bucket maker felt a great chill.
In this area, a Tanuki often poses as something else.

. Legends about the Red Cow, Red Bull 赤牛と伝説 aka-ushi, akaushi .




................................................................................. Nara 奈良県
月ヶ瀬村 Tsukigase village

. koyasu Jizoo 子安地蔵 Jizo as child protector .
Once a group of bucket makers walked past a hall of Jizo Bosatsu and bent their head in prayer. The wife of one of them became pregnant soon after.
After that a kojiki 乞食 beggar slept in the hall for Jizo, when a priest came by on a horse, stepped down and told him that a child had been born in 田山 Tayama. When the begger went there to see if this was true, he came to the home of the bucket maker.
Since then the Jizo was called Koyasu Jizo.



................................................................................. Niigata 新潟県

meshi kuwanu nyoobo 飯食わぬ女房 a wife who does not eat
Once upon a time, a bucket maker said he wanted a wife who does not eat rice. A man came with his daughter and the bucket maker got her as wife. But she was a monster with a mouth at the back of her head, so the bucket maker chased her away.
He made a large bucket and put some hyootan 瓢箪 gourds and rice grains inside, which he had put on needles. The wife, which was actually hebi 蛇 a serpent, came with her children and ate the grains, but they got stuck with the needles and died.




................................................................................. Okayama 岡山県

komebitsu 米櫃 rice stocker
Once along the beach in the South, a rice stocker and some money was floating along but nobody came to pick it up.
The local people say this comes from shipwrecked boats and if someone picks it up, he will be cursed.




................................................................................. Saitama 埼玉県
所沢市 Tokorozawa city

fukunekozuka 福猫塚 mound of the auspicious cat
Once upon a time,
a bucket maker named Kiheiji had been keeping a cat. But one day she did a creepy cat dance with a lantern, Kiheiji thought she must be a monster and chased her away.
The cat was picked up by the restaurant 和泉屋 Izumiya and there she begun to wink to people passing the highway. This soon became popular and the restaurant became quite rich.
The cat was called 福猫 Fukuneko and when she died, a mound was erected in her honor.

- quote -

昔、所沢に喜平次と言う桶職人が住んでいました。
The Okeya was called 喜平次 Kiheiji.
- reference source : hmika/Fukunekozuka... -





................................................................................. Shizuoka 静岡県
庵原郡 Ibara sistrict 両河内村 Ryogochi village

komebitsu 米櫃 rice stocker - and
. kudagitsune クダ狐 / 管狐 "Pipe-Fox" helper .




................................................................................. Tokushima 徳島県

yamachichi 山チチ / 山地乳 Yamachichi yokai monster
The Yamachichi is so big it can fly from mountain to mountain.
On a foggy morning, when the bucket maker was busy working, a Yamachichi appeared, it had only one eye and one leg.
The Yamachichi could read the secret thoughts of the bucket maker and he became quite afraid. He kept working and a splinter of bamboo hit the case of Yamachichi.
"You are doing quite strange things!" and the Yamachichi run away never to come back.

- similar to the legend from Iwate above.

- quote -
Yamachichi ...
DIET: life force (in the form of the breath of sleeping humans)
ORIGIN: The name yamachichi only appears in Ehon Hyakumonogatari, an Edo period yokai bestiary, and thus very little is known about them. ...
- source : yokai.com/yamachichi... -


source : shigege.blog89.fc2.com...

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- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -

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