The 2023 Fukuoka World Aquatics Championships will feature original merchandise made using Fukuoka’s traditional crafts. These charming items, perfect as souvenirs or mementos of a visit to Fukuoka during the Championships, are sure to delight.
In Fukuoka City’s Hakata area, which has long been a commercial hub, a variety of crafts have been passed down through its rich history. Of Hakata’s traditional crafts, Hakata-ori (textile) and Hakata dolls have been designated as nationally recognized traditional crafts. Additionally, Hakata magemono (bentwood works), Hakata hariko (papier-mâché works), Hakata scissors, and Hakata spinning tops are all recognized as specialty crafts by Fukuoka Prefecture. Here, we’ll introduce the traditional crafts that are collaborating with the World Aquatics Championships, and where you can purchase the original merchandise.
As one of the top traditional crafts of Hakata, Fukuoka, “Hakata-ori” boasts a history of over 780 years. Hakata-ori began in 1241, during the Kamakura period, when Hakata merchant Mitsuta Yazaemon, together with a monk, traveled to the Song Dynasty (China) and brought back the weaving technique. In the Edo period, it was presented to the Shogunate by the first lord of Fukuoka Domain, Kuroda Nagamasa, and hence it was called “Kenjo Hakata-ori”.
Hakata-ori is a silk textile woven with multiple warp threads and a thick weft thread made by combining fine threads. It is highly valued as a belt for kimono because it is flexible yet durable. Traditionally used by samurai and in recent years by sumo wrestlers, it has found uses not only in belts but also in neckties, bags, table centerpieces, and other interior items.
▶︎ Fukuoka Topics – Hakata-ori Textiles Turn 777
For this tournament, the ribbons for the medals have been made with Hakata-ori. The blue ribbons, reminiscent of water, are interwoven with white patterns and the tournament logo, and lines matching the color of the medal are added to both sides.
It is said that the roots of Hakata dolls go back to the year 1600, when craftsmen gathered by Kuroda Nagamasa to build Fukuoka Castle made unglazed clay dolls. These dolls gained national circulation during the Edo period, thanks to skilled craftsmen, and their name spread overseas after receiving high praise at international expositions like in Paris during the Meiji period.
Hakata dolls are characterized by their warmth, as they are colored earthenware dolls. Their expressive and dynamic faces are decorated with delicate colors. Traditional Japanese beauties, children, and even animals and characters are among the variety of dolls produced.
▶︎ Fukuoka Topics – Hakata Dolls: Always Changing with the Times
For this tournament, Hakata dolls wearing happi coats with a World Aquatics motif, based on Fukuoka’s representative festival Hakata Yamakasa, will be on sale.
Hakata magemono are containers made by heating and bending thin plates of cedar or cypress and binding the ends with cherry bark. They are made all over Japan and are also known as “wappa” in some areas.
The history of Hakata magemono can be traced back to the year 200 AD, when the 15th Emperor of Japan, Emperor Ōjin, was born and the wooden box used to store the placenta is said to be the origin of Hakata magemono. It has been made since the Edo period and has been offered to Hakozaki Shrine in Higashi Ward as a sacred treasure. Hakata magemono are handmade using only wood, and their beautiful curves and grain patterns are striking. They are used as bento boxes, ohitsu (rice containers), trays for tea ceremony, and small item containers.
For this tournament, a Hakata magemono lunch box featuring the World Aquatics Championships logo will be available.
Hakata hariko, which has been made as a lucky charm since the Edo period, is said to have originated when Hakata merchants learned how to make papier-mâché on a trip to Osaka.
They are made by pasting high-quality handmade Japanese paper or newspaper on clay or wooden molds, drying them in the sun, and painting them by hand. They are essential lucky charms for festivals like Hakata Dontaku and “Toka Ebisu” with their sea bream decorations. Besides, they are widely cherished as folk toys and decorative items.
▶︎ Fukuoka Topics – Hakata Hariko: Must-have Good Luck Charms for Local Festivals
For this tournament, four types of original Hakata hariko, two each of a uniquely expressive Daruma and a cute whale, will be on sale. Both are in the image colors of the World Aquatics Championships, making them cheerful ornaments.
Locations to Purchase the World Aquatics x Hakata Traditional Craft Original Merchandise
Marine Messe Fukuoka
Sales Period: From 7/14~ throughout the tournament, sold at the traditional crafts booth.
Address: 7-1 Okihama-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
* At the “Marine Mall” in Marine Messe A, there will also be exhibitions and sales of traditional crafts.
Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum
Sales Period: From 7/11~ There will also be an exhibition from 7/11~7/23.
Address: 2F Fukuoka City Museum, 3-1-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City
Fukuoka City Tourist Information Center (Tenjin)
Sales Period: From 7/11~
Address: Lion Square, 2-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan
Sales Period: From 7/11~
Address: 6-10 Reisen-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City