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Gato Mikio Co., Ltd.

我戸幹男商店

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.

我戸幹男商店は1908年、石川県山中温泉で我戸木工所として創業された。初代は木地師であったが、二代目になると漆器の販売を始め、三代目が漆器の企画と販売を本格化させた。現在、社長を務める正幸氏は四代目。新たな販路開拓のために、外部のデザイナーを登用するなどして、デザイン面を重視した商品企画に力を入れている。そうした同社の取り組みは、国内外で高く評価されており、2012年には、茶筒の「Karmi」シリーズでドイツのデザイン賞を受賞した。商品企画で大切にしていることは、“山中ならでは”の漆器づくりだ。山中地域で受け継がれてきた、木目を美しく魅せる技法や、当地の木地挽き職人だけが持つ「加飾挽き」の技術による装飾など、伝統的な技術をふんだんに活かす。木地屋として創業した同社だからこそ、木地への探究心も深い。現代性に執着するのではなく、山中漆器の伝統と素材の美しさが宿るものづくりを追い続けている。

Flagship Products

TSUMUGI

つむぎ

KARMI

かるみ

TOHKA

とうか

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