NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/3/4


薩摩つげ櫛 Satsuma-tsugegushi Satsuma Comb

Jp En

Satsuma Tsugegushi or Satsuma Comb is a general term for the comb made from a Satsuma box tree.
Ibusuki region of Kagoshima Prefecture, having a climate with high temperatures and high humidity, is known to produce high quality box trees.
Satsuma box tree, which is extremely detailed and hard, produces a comb that is difficult to break. The tree also has a natural yellowish surface and beautiful gloss, and has been much valued.
The origin of the comb is said to date back to when samurai warriors from Satsuma clan first started making it when they came back from Edo (now Tokyo) after finishing the flood prevention works at Kiso River in the middle of Edo period.
Since that time, comb making became widespread as a side job for samurai warriors in the lower classes, and the comb became well-known nationally for its high quality.
  In Ibusuki region, when a girl was born, a box tree was planted which grew up together with the girl. When she got married, a comb would be sent to take with her along with her other furniture.
   As the comb is used to brush hair with camellia oil for a longer period of time and it ages, the light yellowish surface of the comb glosses further and more finely. In addition, it combs one’s hair very smoothly and feels soft and gentle to the scalp. Also, it doesn’t create static electricity. With these characteristics, Satsuma comb is a fine product that is still highly sought after.
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2007/5/22


金山元太 Kanayama Genta Genta Kanayama

Jp En

Born in 1964, Genta Kanayama is a designer in various fields such as product design including “Furoshiki Bag,” in which furoshiki (a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth) and a bag are combined together, “DUENDE Tissue Case Stand,” which is a standing tissue paper holder, and other sundry goods, furniture and housing equipment as well as graphic design and space design. He established genta design co., ltd. with Chie Kanayama in 2004.

Especially interesting is that he wrote about episodes of developing Furoshiki Bag in Chie Kanayama’s blog. According to the blog, he hit upon this idea when he got an order to design something nice for bringing back a large lunchbox that is usually delivered at a Buddhist memorial service in the Shikoku region, and which is normally wrapped with furoshiki cloth. Then he finally reached the idea to create a new type of furoshiki that doesn’t look like furoshiki.
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2007/1/12


江戸指物 Edosasimono Edo Sashimono Woodwork

Jp En

Edo Sashimono is furniture and woodwork that is assembled without nails, and expresses a cool sense with elegance.
   In the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate invited craftsmen from all over Japan to set up workshops in Kanda and Nihonbashi.
   By the mid-Edo period, the workshops had refined certain styles and skills, one of them being sashimono woodwork.
   Without using any visible connection or metal nail, sashimono craftsmen created sturdy yet beautiful wooden pieces, such as mirror-stands, drawers for tea paraphernalia and boxes for inkstones.
   In Kyoto, sashimono for the Imperial Court and for the tea ceremony developed. In Edo, sashimono were mainly used by samurais, tradesmen and Kabuki actors.
   Edo Sashimono avoids over-decoration and retains a smartness and toughness. Hence, Edo sashimono fully characterizes the cool sense of the Edo people.
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