Inami woodcarving is a traditional handicraft of Toyama prefecture. Both sides of the wood, which may be camphor, zelkova and paulownia, are carved in deep relief with landscapes, flowers, birds and people. The carving requires great skill and the artisans use more than 200 chisels. In the mid-Edo-era, when the main building of Zuisenji Temple (which had been destroyed by fire) was rebuilt, woodcarvers were invited from Kyoto to complete the work. The local Toyama people learned the skills of woodcarving from them, and this is said to be the origin of Inami woodcarving. Until the late Edo-era, carpenters did most of the work for temples. But, after the Meiji-era, professional woodcarvers appeared, who created many of the public works we see today. With the passage of time, Inami woodcarving has changed from rich temple carvings into interior wooden pieces for private homes, mainly to make transom windows.
Inami woodcarving was designated as a Traditional Handicraft by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1975.