A piece of glass with a hole to lace. It is used as an ornamental item today. Lampwork beads are seen all over the world and have very long history. In Egypt, production is supposed to be started just after the innovation of glass around 4000 B.C. In some areas or times, they were used as charm or substitute for money.

As for ancient Japan, some examples supposed to be the exports of Egypt were found from the ruins going back to some centuries B.C. The production of lampwork beads in Japan has already started in Nara Era (710 – 794). They are supposed to be mainly for the decoration for Buddhist art. In Edo Era (1603 – 1868), glass beads affordable for common people were produced under the influence of Chinese and European beads. They became popular for decorative use for daily goods.

Typical method to make lampwork bead is to melt glass rod with the heat of burner, roll up melted glass to a stick with parting compound for several rounds. Within the process the pattern inside and shape of the bead is formed. In Meiji Era (1868-1912), the production ceased but it was revived in the last half of the 20th century. Today a lot of artists and artisans are engaged in the production and lampwork beads with elaborate designs are created.