The fact is that very few of the many Ikkanbari items created by the House of Senoshi during the Edo period have been found.

This is deeply related to a historical background and also the fact that Washi paper made Ikkanbari is very light in weight.

Many of Japan’s works of art and traditional crafts that were considered national treasures were lost or sold domestically and internationally between the end of the Shogunate and the start of the early Meiji period.
Ikkanbari works by the House of Senoshi were not exception. Many items were also lost or sold from the House of Tokugawa domestically and internationally.

When rediscovered in modern times, they have often been mistaken for plastic due to their light weight and disposed of accordingly.
There were even Buddhist statues made from Ikkanbari, but those are believed to have been lost at this time.

If you think you might know of some Ikkanbari items, do not destroy them! Contact us instead!

The eighth shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa's ikanbari large telescope

The length of the telescope is about 350 cm when its tube is extended.

The rise of astronomy in Japan during the Edo Period

The science of astronomy arrived in Japan from the West in the mid Edo Period.
New observations of the sun, moon, and stars demonstrated that the movements of the heavens did not match the Chinese calendar used at the time, and this caused controversy.
The Edo Shogunate decided to revise the calendar, and the first Japanese calendar was created in 1685 by Harumi Shibukawa.
The Edo Shogunate also established a research organization to study astronomical phenomena and calendars called Tenmonkata. Harumi Shibukawa was in fact the founder of Tenmonkata.

Yoshimune Tokugawa’s Ikkanbari Telescope

Accordingly, Yoshimune Tokugawa ordered the House of Senoshi and lens craftman to produce a telescope out of Ikkanbari in order to observe the sun, moon, and stars at the observatory in the Edo castle.

See more details from below

  • Published paper

    The eighth shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa's ikanbari large telescope

    Will be published online soon

  • Offprints

    Available for reading at the Kyoto Institute,
    Library and Archives and our atelier.

Ikkanbari found at the World Heritage Kew Gardens in the UK


“Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in UK” Edited by Corona Books
Published by Heibonsha, April 2019. See more detail >>

  • Ikkanbari Today

    The Ikkanbari works by the 8th generation of the House of Senoshi gifted to the UK have been found at the Kew Gardens. While the Kew Gardens are a botanical garden, the site also has a Japanese garden.

    ◆ The Kasa hat worn during the regular processions by feudal lords back and forth between Edo and their personal domains.
    ◆ Ikkanbari Telescope
    ◆ Letter Case
    ◆ Pen Case

  • While the Kew Gardens are a botanical garden, the site also has a Japanese garden.

    As demonstrated in this book “Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in UK” the ikkanbari works are preserved in a very good condition.

  • Traditional Ikkanbari from the House of Hirai Ikkan Senoshi Atelier Yume Hitori
    Address: Ukyo-ku, Kyoto Detail
    Closed: irregularly (please contact us for operating days) Zuiho Onoe, 14th generation proprietor