a City of Samurai Culture

Kanazawa’s unique “samurai culture,” which developed around and for the samurai in a tentatively peaceful and newly united Japan, began in 1583 when the young warlord Toshiie Maeda entered Kanazawa Castle. Under the Maeda clan's patronage during the following three centuries, the area's crafting and culture flourished, such that the wealth of the Kaga region was calculated to be one million koku, the measure of payment in rice of which one koku fed a person for an entire year.

While “court culture” developed in Kyoto with an emphasis on aristocratic tastes, Kanazawa's samurai culture centered on values held by the warrior class, pursuing refined beauty through disciplined work. Despite its then unusual inspiration, the products from Kanazawa Castle's craft house became treasured by lords throughout Japan.

Entertainment, like the tea ceremony and Noh theatre, also thrived. A comical style of Noh, Kyogen, grew in popularity among samurai and the lower classes, including gardeners. Even today arborists can be heard humming tunes as they tend to trees, and “Noh chants rain from the sky in Kanazawa.”

Welcome to Kanazawa's
Craft Traditions and Cultural Entertainment

The authentic experience programs presented in this brochure aim to satisfy your curiosity and enrich your knowledge of Kanazawa's traditional crafts, culture and entertainment.

Most programs include English-speaking staff. The time required for each program varies from ten minutes to two hours, with only a few exceptions. Professional artisans provide the instructions, making every program a valuable opportunity to explore Japanese culture through its masters.