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Why Are Japanese Wood Furniture Makers, Known for ‘Design Masterpieces,’ Admired Around the World?

  • December 28, 2023
Why Are Japanese Wood Furniture Makers, Known for 'Design Masterpieces,' Admired Around the World?

Date published: 25 December 2023

Japan’s rich forests are a source for its acclaimed furniture. Here, many manufacturers harness the wood’s natural texture, and the craftsmanship behind these high-quality designs has gained global recognition.

Known for its innovative woodworking products such as the Butterfly Stool, we visited Tendo Co., Ltd. to discover the essence of the skills of Japan’s leading woodworking furniture craftspeople.

*This article includes advertising content.

Why Japanese Woodworking Furniture Remains Unbreakable and Beautiful

Image courtesy of PIXTA

Image courtesy of PIXTA

Image courtesy of PIXTA

Image courtesy of PIXTA

Japan has been rich in forest resources since the B.C. era, and woodworking products have long been a part of the lives of Japanese people. Delicate processing techniques such as “sashimono,” which involves joining pieces of wood together without the use of metal fasteners to make furniture, and “magemono,” involving bending wood into a circular shape to make tea sets and lunch boxes, dates back more than 1,000 years.

With the growing demand to make furniture for the imperial family and samurai lords, furniture craftspeople specializing in making wooden furniture such as chests and “zataku (low tables)” began to appear in various parts of the country.

The honor and dedication of making such items for those of high society led to the evolution of techniques for making wooden furniture that were sturdy, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Pursuing a quality that would satisfy the imperial family and samurai lords, Japanese woodworking techniques have evolved into a world-class craft.

By the Meiji Period (1868–1912), Western culture began to be introduced in Japan, followed by the Taisho Period (1912–1926), when the government took the initiative in promoting the westernization of the lives of the common people. Driven in part by the popularity of Bunka Jutaku houses with Western-style parlor rooms, furniture manufacturing of tables, chairs, and other furniture suited

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