While there is serious aging problem in Japan, we still able to see few young Japanese are willing to pick up their family business as a Joiner. Here's the interview.
Ohno Tategu founded since 1930s by the grandfather of Koji Ohno. Before 1990s, there are still lots of Japanese has its Japanese style room (Tatami), which "Shoji" is a compulsory component for a house. In that time, Ohno Tategu was mainly producing wooden doors and frames. When it comes to 2010, the 3rd owner, Koji Ohno, starts customized design of "Shoji with Washi".
Shoji with Washi
"Washi" is traditional Japanese paper.
Normally, on the Japanese sliding door, the paper is just in white plain color and easily being broken. Japanese used to exchange the paper by themselves.
In additional, they might cut the "Washi" into Cherry Blossom shape and stick it on the white plain paper.
Koji knows there are much more possibilities to the doors.
Koji has been to fashion school and worked at a fashion company. With this background, he decided to give some colors to the doors.
Like most of the Japanese craftsman, you could never tell how detail they are aiming to be.
It might looks easy just like DIY, however, when you are looking for aesthetics, there's a different story. Koji picks up the thousands of the Washi. And he would discuss with the house owner for the image and their lifestyle for giving the best result. Sometimes, he will use the used Kimono (Japanese traditional clothes) of the house owner for the Shoji.
Photo credit to Oonotategu
Decoration instead of doors
At the famous resort in Japan, Hoshino Resorts, you can also find Koji craftsmanship.
Despite of the sliding doors, Koji collaborates with local Japanese traditional fabric makers for accessories, like letter holder and table light.
He is involved in making the decoration of Japanese style room in Hoshino Resorts.
Keep the Traditional Craftsmanship
"Kumiko" is simply a technique for assembling wood without using nails. Grooves, holes, and lapping are given to thin and cracked wood, and one by one is assembled while adjusting with canna, saws and fleas. Woodworking technology "Kumiko" which has been polished over many years since the distant Asuka era.
As the 3rd generation of Ohno Tategu, Koji has inherited the technique of Kimiko.
Collaborating with Washi, it becomes an art.
Every pieces from Koji are being well-thought and dedicated design.
There are much more to discover!
You can check more of Ohno Tategu Collection at their instagram.