“Ootsu-e”, the folk art loved by travellers in Ootsu, Shiga Prefecture; Let’s go and buy one!

Ootsu-e no mise Co. Ltd. is a shop selling Ootsu-e, traditional crafts of Shiga Prefecture. Mr.Takahashi Matsuyama, its 4th owner, is designated as the keeper of this intangible cultural asset.

The shop of Ootsu-e


【 CONTENTS 】

Inside the Ootsu-e no mise.

Inside the Ootsu-e no mise.

Inside the Ootsu-e no mise.

The folk art that was loved by travellers as souvenir

Let me introduce this interesting shop that I found while walking by Biwa-ko Lake.
There are many adorable goods such as fans, gourds, post cards, and towels inside this shop. I instantly fell in love! These unique folk paintings are called Ootsu-e and are known as souvenirs for travellers who passed through Shiga Prefecture between 1624 and 1643. Even though the number of visitors has decreased due to the opening of the railway, it’s still preserved as a traditional craft by the efforts of the painters.

Fujimusume’s fan.

Ootsu-e goods.

Ootsu-e can be your charm!

Ootsu-e was bought, not only as a souvenir, but also as a charm! For example, take a look at this fan. The picture of the girl in a kasa hut and kimono is called “Fuji-musume”. She appears in a kabuki program. The picture of Fuji musume is said to bring good luck to those seeking relationships, because it’s so cute! Other figures such as the Kaminari-sama is said to protect you from thunder, and Benkei is said to bring you wealth and good health. You should ask the staff about the fortunes of each figure.

Ootsu-e goods.

Ootsu-e goods.

Ootsu-e goods.

Ootsu-e goods.

Let’s find your favorite!

I found old Ootsu-e drawn on old wood. Ootsu-city has the largest lake in Japan, Biwa-ko Lake and this wood you see, used to be parts from a ship. In the back of the shop, I could see the painter’s work. I recommend small key holders and post cards as souvenirs. Post cards are great for writing about your experience in Shiga and sending them to your friends! I bought a gourd. A Gourd is said to protect you from evil and bring good fortune. This Ootsu-e gourd is so funny and looks good if you hang it in a room.

Map

3-38 Miideracho, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture

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AUTHOR

kyoami

kyoami

Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.

Information

Address 3-38 Miideracho, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
Hours 10:00〜17:00
Access 10 min walk from keihan Miidera station. 20 min walk from JR Ootsu station or 5 min drive.
Phone 077-524-5656
Website http://www.otsue.jp/index.html