• twitter
  • facebook





Cut Glass from Edo

Edo Kiriko glasswork is said to have its origins in the late Edo Period when a merchant by the name of Kagaya Kyubei, who ran a glassware shop in the Odenmacho area of Edo (modern Tokyo), made cuts into some glassware. Later, the Edo Kiriko craft grew in leaps and bounds, driven by the influx of western technologies during the modernization of Japan in the Meiji Period. Edo Kiriko is characterized by the glittering rainbow of colors emitted from the intricate patterns cut meticulously into clear, colorless glass. The beauty and delicacy of this glasswork led to the word giyaman (from the Dutch word for “diamond”, which were used to cut glass) being used colloquially to mean “beautiful woman”.

Edo Kiriko Craftsmann

Yoshirou Kobayashi

1950 Born in Koto Ward, Tokyo. After graduating from Meiji University, apprenticed under father Hideo.
1981 Selected for Japan Traditional Craft Association New Work Exhibit.
1983 Received Honorable Mention at the 30th Japan Traditional Craft Association Exhibit among various other honors.
2005 Certified as a Traditional Craftsman for Designated Traditional Craft Edo Kiriko by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
2009 Recognized as an Intangible Cultural Property by Koto Ward.

Lecturer of Edo Kiriko at Oedo Metropolitan High School.





Yoshirou Kobayashi is a third-generation Edo Kiriko glasswork craftsman. “For me it’s not about the sanctity of tradition—I do this because it’s my job,” he says, in the dignified tone of an old-town Tokyo craftsman. Despite his brusque words, Kobayashi’s work as a certified traditional craftsman is striking. The sophistication and beauty of the decorative patterns of inlaid cuts covering his glasswork leaves a lasting impression.

In contrast, the work of his son Kohei, who has taken up the mantle as fourth-generation craftsman, is eye-catching with his bold use of colors and designs. Today the duo can be seen holding father-son exhibits, but when Kohei announced that he intended to take over the family trade six years ago with university graduation fast approaching, the elder Kobayashi was conflicted; he felt times were tough for craftsmen trying to make a living. While he says he soon hopes to see his son standing on his own two feet as a full-fledged craftsman, he considers Kohei a natural talent. Kohei has already won many awards and developed Edo Kiriko glass accessories, venturing out and carrying the tradition into uncharted territories. Kobayashi has entrusted the future of Edo Kiriko glasswork to him, saying, “This is no time for the craftsman to remain stoic and silent regarding his craft. My hope is that he goes forward in conveying the art of Edo Kiriko to the world and spreading understanding of our tradition.”

Kobayashi Garasu Kougeisho


/ Shop Information :

Adress:2-9-6 Sarue, Koto-ku, Tokyo

/ Telephone:

/ Hours of Operation:

Closed:Sunday & National holidays

/ Website: