Hiroyuki Maeta is one of the younger generation of craftsmen,specialising in handcarved wooden sculptures calld ittobori.
The technique is unique in that only straight cuts are made using razor-sharp chisels and carving knives.
Many of the works are then painted in vivid colours,distinguishing them from other japanese carving traditions.
Ittobori is most often used for small Takasago dolls,but Maeta is taking the craft in a more creative and humorous direction with his larger works,often inspired by ancient Japanese folklore.
His adventurous designs have included all kinds of animals(a bright red octopus and a golden Arowana fish),and a setup of a black devil playing a game of Go with a white devil.
A few of these pieces can be seen at the Nara Craft Museum near Naramachi,and he was also recently invited to participate in a craft exhibition at the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art.