Takaoka City in Toyama Prefecture is a town of craftsmanship where various traditional industries such as metal-casting and lacquer art are still thriving. In this historical town, Momentum Factory Orii, Co. Ltd., started operation in 2008. The predecessor of this company, “Orii-chakushokujyo” which is a coloring factory was established in 1950 by Mr. Takeji Orii, the grandfather of the current president, Mr. Koji Orii, as a factory specializing in coloring process of the manufacturing of Takaoka copperware. Until the beginning of 1970s, their factory was the one of the busiest in town due to the high economic growth of Japan at that time. However, after the burst of the bubble economy, sales gradually slowed down. It was Mr. Koji Orii, who had diligently researched and developed new coloring techniques of copper sheet in an effort to reverse the downturn. After several years of trial and error, he succeeded in developing a unique technique to apply color on copper sheets that are less than 1mm thick which was considered too difficult to be achieved.
While inheriting the traditional coloring techniques like “nukayaki” and “ohaguro” from the previous generations, Mr. Orii continues to develop original colors and patterns and evolving from them. His first creation, “Hanmon-Kujyaku”, consists of intricate colors like peacock feathers and has diverse variations with different appearance depending on the conditions that they were made. The company also offers color adjustment to suit individual preferences.
With the development of new coloring techniques, Orii began focusing on original interior goods and metallic finishing and building materials. Also, by constantly participating in trade shows, the level of awareness of the company has increased gradually. Their “tone” series which uses copper material to produce a wide range of products from lampshades to tumblers is popular. In 2017, a decorative panel series, “ORII MARBLE” won the Good Design Award. While continuing to develop an overseas market for interior finishing, they are also breaking into the fashion industry by producing a suit with embedded copper plate. “Kogei must always evolve and make products that are suited to the times”- this attitude towards kogei that goes beyond the norm resonates with the young craftsmen. Attention will be focused on the future development of Orii as they continue to face new challenges.