Tōru Horiguchi is the latest in a long line of his family to perfect the art of Edo Kiriko, a traditional intricate multi-layered glass carving technique originating in Tokyo during the Edo period of the early 19th Century.
It was during Japan’s Taishō era that Ichio Horiguchi, Tōru’s grandfather, began his apprenticeship under a master of Edo Kiriko, Kikuichiro Kobayashi, bearing the ’Shūseki’ title. In 2008, as the third master of the Shūseki line, Tōru, established Horiguchi Kiriko as a successor to the traditions of Edo Kiriko.
Today, this tradition is continued by a small team of skilled artisans, using a diamond wheel to cut the glass using rough outlines as a guide. The production of each glass comprises 6 delicate and labour-intensive steps, from basic cutting the foundation of the design to the final buff revealing the shine and transparency of the glass.