Located in the south of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Daruma-cho is a neighbourhood with many antique shops and antique art dealers. This is where Takemata Nakagawa Takezaiten runs a business as a supplier of bamboo and has been doing so for eleven generations since its establishment in 1688. It is said that Kyoto produces good quality bamboo because the significant temperature differences between the summer and winter months is ideal for their growth thus they have been a part of an essential building materials for Japanese architecture since the olden days. The industry had experienced decreasing demand for bamboo during the postwar period along with the emergence of new building materials. However, Takemata overcame the downturn by offering various services related to the bamboo materials, from primary processing of “Kyo-meichiku” (Kyoto bamboo), which is used for buildings in Kyoto or crafts such as Japanese tea ceremony utensils, to construction of bamboo fences in Japanese garden and temples. The company is able to handle all the processes for these works in-house as they have developed a wide range of techniques for the wide varieties of bamboo works that they have done through the generations. The capacity of Takemata in responding to demands of designers and artists in collaboration projects, and their creations have been showcased in Milan and Paris. Particularly, “Cha no ma”, a ready-to-assemble Japanese-style room which was produced in 2015 with a Kyoto based designer was exhibited internationally and the beauty of its latticework created by the nodes of natural bamboo garnered attention worldwide. In this small and cozy installation, the craftsmanship of Takemata to draw out the best in natural beauty of material shone through.
京都御所の南に位置し、骨董や古美術商が立ち並ぶ界隈にほど近い達磨町。その一角に、竹又・中川竹材店は1688年の創業以来、11代に渡り店を構えている。夏と冬の寒暖の差が激しい京都で採れる竹は質が良く、古くから日本建築に欠かせない建築材料だった。戦後の新建材の登場に伴いその需要は減少するが、竹又は、京都の建築や茶道具などの工芸品に使用される竹材「京銘竹」の一次加工から、寺院や日本庭園の竹垣の施工まで、全工程を自社内で行い、竹の加工の幅広い技術を培ってきた。デザイナーやアーティストの作品制作にも柔軟に対応しており、その製品はミラノやパリの見本市に出品されている。京都在住のデザイナーと2015年に製作した組み立て式の小さな和室『Cha no ma』も海を渡り、天然の竹の節目が作り出す、格子状の造形美で注目を集めた。素材の美しさを最大限に引き出す竹又の技が、随所に散りばめられている。