Edo kiriko was first made in 1834 when Kagaya Kyubei, the owner of a glassware store in Nihonbashi Odenmacho, started to carve glass surfaces using emery.
In 1876, soon after the Meiji Restoration, Japan's first modern glass factory was established. In 1881, an English engineer was invited to train Japanese craftsmen in glass cutting techniques. This helped establish the techniques for making Edo kiriko that are still used today. As glassware became more widespread, the quality of the products also improved.
Initially, Edo kiriko was made using just clear glass. Nowadays, most items are made with clear glass covered with a film of colored glass using a technique called "irokise". The grooves engraved on the glass bend and refract light, and the appearance of Edo kiriko can change depending on its pattern and the lighting. Besides drinking glasses and cups, there are also Edo kiriko accessories and interior ornaments.
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