Hidetaka kakefuda is the third line of the Kyoto Kakefuda, a dye house which specializes in made to order “Furoshiki”, wrapping cloth. Mr. Kakefuda was born in 1977 in Kyoto. He entered Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996, majoring initially in Sculpture, later changing to Conceptual and Media Art. He started helping the family business while still a university student. After seeing the family crest book handed down in his family, he took a strong interest in traditional patterns and succeeded to the family business upon his graduation.
In 2004, Mr. Kakefuda undertook the design and production of the cotton furoshiki to be used as a complementary gift for the name-taking ceremony of Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII. With this as a beginning, the following year he announced his new line of cotton furoshiki with Japanese traditional patterns such as Karakusa and Kamekou. “I wanted create furoshiki that everybody can use casually as a start”, Mr. Kakufuda says in a relaxed tone. Since 2005, he continues to produce new types of furoshiki based on Japanese traditional patterns, a style sometimes referred to as “Japanese Modern”.
For this piece, Mr. Kiyoyuki Okuyama, a prominent internationally acclaimed car designer renowned for his work for Porsche and Ferrari, combined the art of craftsmanship of Yamagata, his hometown, with modern technology and innovative design philosophy. The Hanger with its original form of natural solid oak twisted as if driven by a screw, combined with illumination, produces an elegant interior scene.
In addition to the sculpted risqu? beauty that towers up the woven “spiral”, it combines the full sense of existence as an interior light with the functionality of a coat hanger.
The spiral structural form of the four solid oak bars is hand crafted using a unique technique. It is as if the art of craftsmanship which responded to Mr. Okuyama’s design is illuminating the beauty of Japanese tradition.
Each piece has a unique sculpture that ensures individual design and positioning of the elements.
Urushi-ring is an acrylic based ring with a lacquered top created by Masako Ban, an internationally acclaimed accessory designer. Her innovative application of materials and appreciation for Japanese craft techniques has taken her design to a new frontier. The simply designed yet profoundly deep urushi-ring distills the essence of modernism in Japanese craft work today. Manufacture requires highly skilled techniques to lacquer on the small surface of the ring. and achieving the perfect color and texture takes considerable time. After much trial and error, using different craft artists, each expert in their own acrylic and lacquer techniques, and combining the sum of their skills, she perfected this unique piece in which two materials; acrylic and lacquer, delicately complement each other. This is a ring which over time as the piece ages, the gloss and colors change subtlety and the more you can appreciate its beauty.
Iwamiyaki is a traditional type of pottery from the town of Goutsu in Shimane Prefecture. This beautiful pottery has many characteristics including its warm, natural earthy color, and its strong water-resistance. Iwamiyaki is also well built and very durable, proving it to be useful and versatile. It is said that Iwamiyaki was introduced to Goutsu in 1763 in the mid-Edo period and originated from pottery methods used in Suouiwakunihan (today’s Yamaguchi Prefecture). At that time, Iwamiyaki mostly consisted of tokkuri (sake bottles), or katakuchi (sake cups) and other small objects, but later , its main use as water jars, because of its strong water-resistance. By the end of the Edo period, Iwamiyaki was acknowledged and revered across Japan and shipped around the country by kitamaebune (a goods ship used mostly during the Edo and Meiji periods). Today, Iwamiyaki is still cherished and is used for such products as flower vases, dishes, umbrella stands and decorative interiors. Iwamiyaki may be changing to accommodate to new tastes and demands in the world, but its traditional designs and techniques are still used today. In 1994, Iwamiyaki was officially recognized as a “Dentoteki-Kougeihin (Traditional Handicraft)” of Japan.
Hideyoshi Toyotomi built Nagoya Castle in Chinzeicho, Saga Pref., as his base for his invasion of Korea (1592-1598). The castle is said to have been completed by the four-month rush work. Now only the surrounding camps constructed by Hideyoshi’s feudatories remain and have been conserved as the Encampment Sites. The castle’s area was almost equal in size to Osaka Castle. As the foundation stones of the castle were brought from the beach, a lot of rocks with seashells adhered to them can be found. As the technique used for stone masonry was excellent, this desolated site is visited by many researchers and engineers. Hideyoshi stayed at this castle for only 1 year and 3 months between the two wars. The castle was scrapped after the war ended. Later Takahiro Terasawa, the domain lord of Karatsu Province, took over some of the building materials and used them to build Karatsu Castle. The Otemon (main gate) was brought as far away as to Sendai in Tohoku region by Masamune Date, who used it as the Otemon of his castle’s Ninomaru (the second circle). The Nagoya Castle Site and the Encampment Site are well conserved as the designated national historic landmarks. Nearly 160 feudal lords from all over Japan gathered to join the wars, among them were many notable figures such as Masanori Fukushima, Toshiaki Maeda, and the man who became another “Tenkabito (a person in paramount authority)”, Ideas Tokugawa.
Surrounded by oddly shaped rocky hills half dug away and showing bare hillside, this deserted land is the remains of Izumiyama Kaolin Deposit where the Korean ceramist, Lee Cham-Pyung (Japanese name Ri Sampei) discovered kaolin for the first time in Japan about 400 years ago. The site was designated as National Historic Spot in 1980. With the discovery of kaolin in Izumiyama, it became possible to produce porcelains in Japan. In the Edo period, kaolin was under the strict control of Sarayama Magistrate’s Office of Nabeshima Province. In the Meiji period, a whole mountain had been dug away and even more digging was made in the ground, as the result of which it was confirmed that there was a lot more kaolin in the underground layers. However, as the problem of water drainage arose, they gave up further digging and began to obtain kaolin from Amakusa in Kumamoto Pref. The amount of mining decreased with the course of time. Some had been used for making tiles until recently, but the resources are nearly exhausted and the quarry is now closed. There is an opening space in the center of the remains. Standing there and looking up the surrounding rocks, you will see lush foliage of pine trees making strong contrast with white rock surface.
manufact jam located in Mashiko-machi, a town famous for pottery, is an
architectural design office as well as a workshop manufacturing furniture
and wooden cutlery. In the field of architectural and interior design, the
company specializes in “Japanese-modern” style with its unique worldview.
In manufacturing furniture, it has brought out various modern, simple and
sophisticated items made of iron combined with scrap wood from demolished
old farm houses or oak, ash and walnut. The company is now planning to open
up an on-line shop for cutlery made of oak, cherry and chestnut and
one-and-only scrap wood small furniture, which is very anticipated. Under
the company’s philosophy of giving an aid to equip space and human life,
they say there is no border in its scope of business. You can’t look away
from its future business front.
Wabisuke is a group of handicraftsmen in Kyoto who offer a new type of Japanese brand that matches the modern life style taking traditional Kaga colors (the five colors of Kutani Ware) or traditional handicraft techniques (Kutani Ware, Yamanaka Lacquer ware and Kaga Dyeing) as their motifs. Their first released items are the bengara (iron rust) dyed, indigo dyed and lacquered Converse sneakers, all of which are processed by hand. As the second, they have just released the Kutani Othello Game. Each item reflects the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic of Japanese tradition, creating the feeling of tranquility regardless of the current fashion trend. The characteristic of Wabisuke’s dyeing is that they use Japanese traditional colors and natural dyestuff and pigments so that the color shade in nature is transformed into textile. So, the longer you use it, the more natural the color becomes.