KOGEI STANDARD Japanese Crafts Online Media

Kuroda Kobo

黒田工房
COMPANY
Kuroda Kobo Co., Ltd.
REGION
Kyoto Prefecture
Head Office
#101, Quatre Saison 3-1, Kinugasa Kitatenjinmori-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto, 603-8376, JAPAN
Factory
620-4, Ikadachikitazaiji-cho, Otsu-city, Shiga, 520-0351, JAPAN
CEO
Hiroaki Usui
FOUNDED
1961
EMPLOYEES
2
WEB SITE

ROOTS

In Japan, The Association for Conservation of National Treasures manages the conservation and repairs on works that are classified as national treasures, such as architecture, arts and crafts and even paintings and books. Kuroda Kobo which was established in 1961 in Kyoto is a subcontractor of the twelve members association tasked to conserve “kumiko” which is a form of lattice work. Kumiko is applied mainly on architecture and occasionally on furniture and even picture frames. Since its founding, Kuroda Kobo has been making and repairing “fusuma” (Japanese sliding door) and “byobu” (folding screen). Hiroaki Usui is the third president of Kuroda Kobo. While having succeeded the traditional technique of kumiko, he is also developing three-dimensional wooden products by incorporating his own technique such as “kyosashimono” (Kyoto cabinetwork) and “magemono” (wood bending) which he learned from Kiyotsugu Nakagawa, a Living National Treasure in the field of woodworking.

In order to repair national treasures, in-depth knowledge of woodworking history and a high level of traditional techniques are needed. Also, to be able to achieve precision woodworking down to the millimeter, the craftsmen have to be skilled in customizing their own tools such as chisels and planes to make them suited to their individual usage.

In recent years, Kuroda Kobo has increased their focus on international businesses. In 2016, they launched a new wooden product in Milan, Italy, as a collaboration with an Italian designer. The product “Upon” is a new style of three-dimensional expression, an expertise of Mr. Usui, which keeps to the natural qualities of wood. While continuing with their endeavors in the traditional works of conversation and repairs of national treasures, they face the challenges that the future brings.

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