KOGEI & Me Craftspeople and Their Stories
- 1981, 1983
- Nagano Prefecture
- Maruyoshi Kosaka
We placed our hope for the future of Kiso in our colorful lacquer painting.
Mr. Reo Kosaka and his wife, Mrs. Chie Kosaka met each other as fellow students at the technical school of urushi lacquer arts in Kiso, Shiojiri City. They got married in 2009 and took over the lacquerware shop run by Reo’s family. For their family business, Mr. Kosaka’s work is now focused on the production of wooden furniture while Mrs. Kosaka does hand painting of lacquer. Even though both of them work together on product planning and sales everyday, each is an independent craftsperson who has his/her unbending ideas. As both of them have their own unique personalities, discussions become a source of creation and sometimes difficulties. For example, during the launch of “hyakushiki” which is the company’s original brand of urushi-glassware, their points of view were so different that it was not easy to reach an agreement. Looking back to that time, Mrs. Kosaka said with a laugh “The designer finally arranged it well.” However, both Mr. and Mrs. Kosaka share one belief that is to faithfully keep to the tradition they inherited. They both wish for the same thing. “ We hope a wide recognition of the brand, “hyakushiki” will encourage more people to turn their attention to this production area of Kiso lacquerware and that it will create an opportunity to gather young people in this area”.