Edo Kiriko is a glass craft that has been handed down in Tokyo (old name Edo). First of all, an expert glassblower blows clear glass into a paper-thin shape of colored glass and then rotates this in the air to make the overall form. The result is a two-layer structure with colored glass on the outside and clear glass on the inside. By cutting patterns into the outside surface with different kinds of whetstones, a vivid contrast is created between the colored glass and the transparent glass.
Edo kiriko is a glass-cutting handicraft that began in the late Edo-era. The origin of this craft dates back to 1834, when a craftsman, Kagaya Hisabe, first created a new technique of cutting glass with powdered emery. In the late Edo-era, transparent lead glass (crystal glass) was the main glass material used for this craft. The patterns were familiar ones seen on kimonos, such as bamboo fencing, chrysanthemums and hemp. Now, many Edo kiriko pieces are made using faded glass. The layer of colored glass is thin and vivid. In 2002, Edo kiriko was designated as a Traditional Handicraft by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.