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Gato Mikio Co., Ltd.


Gato Mikio Co., Ltd. was founded in 1908 as Gato Woodworking plant in Yamanaka Onsen, a town in Ishikawa prefecture. Although the founder was a wood turning craftsman, the second-generation head started selling lacquerware and by the third-generation, they have specialized in the sales and planning of lacquerware. Mr. Masayuki Gato is the forth-generation president. In order to develop new market, he is making a strong effort in product planning by putting emphasis on design by outsourcing the design work. His effort had paid off as the company had gained a good reputation both within and outside of Japan. As a result, they received the German Design Award in 2012 with “Karmi” which is a series of tea canister. The most important concept of his product planning is lacquerware that are made using techniques that are unique to Yamanaka. The products made by Gato Mikio Co., Ltd. take advantage of many of the traditional techniques inherited in Yamanaka such as a lacquering technique that maintains the appearance of woodgrain or “Kasyokubiki” wood curving techniques for making decorative patterns that can only be acquired by certain craftsmen in this area. Their continuing study on wood techniques has depth because their original business was in woodturning. They keep pursuing a production in which the tradition of Yamanaka lacquerware and the beauty of its product will stay alive rather than following modernity.


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