We are "Shozu Shikko"
The Pride of "Kijishi"
Our company has started by Masao KUBODE in 1946 and today runned by 2nd heir Shoji KUBODE who is the head artisan of the company as well. By accumulating knowledge and experiences all those years, we can offer you our products with complete confidence.
"For more than 60 years, I've been thinking about the wood and I always find out something new in my daily work. I'm still learning about wood and my technique, aiming to share our best products with you." words from Shoji.
And after 2013, his son Takao and Takao's wife Hisako have joined the company and started to increase their efforts to try new things.
Yamanaka Shikki Quality
Our region, Yamanaka, is well known as wooden basis producer for the best quality and quanlity of production in Japan. Those two "best"s is fueled by its high technique of artisans and philosophy how we face to wood, the natural resouce. Our method of using wood is "vertical" which makes products keep standing vertical as the tree does, this make possible to create our products closer to the nature and combine force and sensitivity which wood originaly have. And our high-volume production is also a great advantage of us. With using the traditional hand techique, we put handmade cutting blade together with tuning steal machine for whittling wood faster by keeping its quality stable. And then we finish up all products by hand. This technique brings us the volume for production and the quality of "made by hand" which means we could offer you the worth products with friendly price.
Through our products, we would like you to know more about a beauty of wood and the wonderful Japanese traditional craft.
Facing the Natural Resource
Humans are all different, and it's the same for wood. Every single one has different face and different character which you can see in its grain, knot, color, texture and atmosphere. The thing which is interesting the most about the wood product is that it changes little by little its expression by using and spending time together. That's simply because wood is a living natural resource. You can be aware of its dynamism, beauty and graciousness through touching and feeling it. Use your five senses and enjoy your own only piece of wood in this world.
Growing Tomorrow's Wood in Japan
There are so many things to share with you about wood as we have been crafting it every day for over 70 years. We can say that wood is a core element of ourselves, of our own history and of culture in Japan. Still today, two thirds of the land in Japan is covered by forests. However, nowadays, we tend to think that wood is just a material and forget the existence of forests. Through our products, we would like to reconsider and understand the importance of wood and forest and get prepared for our future.
*We could offer you the maintenance of re-polishing for products which allows you to keep using it for a long time. Feel free to ask us more info!
Japanese government puts the effort for the wood education called "Mokuiku木育" (木moku=wood,育iku=education) for improving the situation of forests in Japan. Since the dawn of time and still today, wood is always here to exist in our lives. We, Shozu Shikko, also support this Mokuiku movement by re-discovering how much the wood means to us and by sharing these important ideas with you through our products. For understanding and realizing the importance of wood, we could all study more Japan's history and culture.
We are an official member of "the Forest Supportersフォレストサポータズ" which is the national people's movement to support our forests in Japan from The National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization lead by the government. "Plant, Cultivate, Harvest, Use well and Plant again" is their slogan. We would like to spread our message for everyone to reconsider wood and forests.
Not "Artwork" but your Daily wants
Ask to Arabikishi to produce "Arabiki" according to each form of product
*Arabiki : the pre-creation of wooden basis done by Arabikishi
Our work starts from here to do Desiccation for Arabiki basis
〈Points for this process〉
①there's 2 different rooms for steam drying
②mostly it takes about 2 weeks to finish up
③possible to work on about 1500 pcs of basis at one time
④we need to control templeture and humidity which is different according to each sorts of wood, size or form of products. ex) 80 ℃ for a little bowl and 100 ℃ for IPPONGI
2) Whittling Outside
-Wood turning machine-
The bown and cup are basically whittled from the outside. Around 100 to 1000 pieces of same product are done at a time. We set handmade blades and adjust them to the machine and whittle the Arabiki wooden base. By using a little sword and sandpaper, we finish up this step by hand. We carefully make an adjustment of the machine depending on each product. Scince it has to be seated vessel by the outside, we use a handmade wooden pad for not to be scrached and damaged.
3) Whittling Iutside
-Wood turning machine-
Basically, there're 2 steps of whittling outside&inside, but depending on vessels, we have to add some more steps for the production. In that case, 3 to 7 steps, especially IPPONGI, if the form is complicated, more thatn 8 steps are required.
We, Shozu Shikko has been working more than 1000 shapes of products.
Wood originally contains a lot of water and cannot be used as it is. If we left this point untouched, wooden vessel will bend and distort or the lacquer on the surface will peel off so soon. So all of our production start with the drying process. This was carried out for half a year to several years before, but we invended the steam drying system which can usually do this process in less than two weeks. It is also possible to remove water from a thin conduit in a wooden material, which is said to take "100 years" in natural drying.
In this drying process, we control the temperature and humidity depending on the season, weather, of course the condition of wood. By setting the most suitable temperature and humidity for each wood material based on our experience and knowledge of over many years, we can finish the wood in the best condition for vessel. This technology enables to producee fine and delicate form of wood which is also difficult to deform or bend during using it.
For our original brands as Kijishi, we are concerned with the use of clear top coating for carrying out our 2 wishes as follow. One is to share the wonderfulness of wooden vessel with as many people as possible. The beauty of each grain, the color, the warmth of skin, and its originality that exist one and only in the world...Especially from the depth of grain, we can feel the history of the nature. And the other is to let you recognize our work as Kijishi. Our history of wood craftmen always has to be with the history of lacquer ware. However, the existence of wooden basis and Kijishi were hidden behind the lacquer and there's few people who know it. And the number of Kijishi is actually decresing year by year. For making changes to this situation, we aim to try new things more to focus on the wood material and our work. This clear coating can show you how beautiful wood is and also our work to the nicety.