The inlay technique which goes under the name of Shibayama started at the beginning of the era of the eleventh Shogun, Tokugawa Ienari (1773-1841). Shibayama is named after the Shibayama area of present-day Chiba prefecture, where
Onoki Senzo – a manufacturer who lived during the An’ei period (1772-1781) – was born.
His style became so popular that the works made using this inlay technique are called Shibayama, which he eventually took as his surname.
In the Shibayama technique, intricately carved inlay pieces instead being embedded flush into the ground material, protrude in high-relief above the surface. In fact, the word Shibayama can also be used to refer specifically to this typical inlay work.
The name Shibayama was first adopted by the founder of this tradition – Onoki
Senzo – and then by his offspring and worthy pupils.
Works by masters such as Muneichi, Muneaki, Masahisa, Yasunobu, Yasumasa, Soichi, Naoyuki and Dosho have been met with interest at international exhibitions. Thanks to them and few other great master craftsmen, Shibayama has become widely popular.