Japanese Vintage Kuji Amber jewelry
Japanese Vintage – Kuji Amber jewelry
Traditionally, we associate amber with the Baltic Sea. However, Japanese amber is at least twice as old as Baltic amber. Found in Japan, these semi-precious stones are about 80 million years old. The seaside city of Kuji, located in the northwest of the island of Honshu, is called the Japanese capital of amber. The color shades of Japanese amber are quite varied and differ from the Baltic amber. Yellow and transparent stones are quite rare. More often, amber has orange, dark yellow and brown shades, and even beautiful striped amber that looks like agate. Interestingly, in the Middle Ages in Japan, red amber was especially highly valued, which symbolized the blood of the dragon. Only members of the imperial family could wear jewelry made of red amber.
There are many awarded notable artists and jewelry designers who work with amber. In particular, Wataru Zama, Hiromi Ito, Takenori Moriyama, Yuji Okado, Osamu Omori, Masaaki Sakaguchi, Yasunori Sakamoto, Nobuko Takagi, Misao Uchida, Noriko Hasegawa, and Koichi Yamazaki.
In the past, in this area there were several old schools of amber processing, which were famous throughout Japan. Since 1981, the Kuji Amber Museum Co., Ltd. has been reviving the historical traditions of Kuji-kohaku by decree of the Japanese government. The owner of the museum is a local company Kuji Kohaku. Kuji products – earrings, pendants, brooches, bracelets, watches and pens with amber inserts can be purchased both throughout the country and at the place of production.
Noteworthy, items marked with the word “KUJI” are rare, as Kuji Amber Museum only marked the first jewelry collections.