Meet the Maker: Kihachi Kobo

In the old days in Japan, traditional crafts would be divided into many parts and families would specialise in just one part of the process.

Suya san and Satake san
While not quite so common now, in Suya san's case he comes from a family specialising in the design and marketing of lacquerware: he is the sixth generation since 1882 to run Kihachi Kōbō.

He finds wood-turners who share his vision and can bring his ideas to life. Satake san is a young turner who makes the Kashiwan bowls with Suya san and they both share a profound belief in letting their products speak for themselves rather than focusing on the maker or designer.

A refreshing change from the Western idea of the primacy of the designer's ego, Suya san and Satake san believe they are just revealing the inner beauty of the wood they work with rather than actually designing or making.

Yamanaka Lacquer Map