Okawa furniture artisan
In 1977, he joined Hieda Mokko (Currently Kiri Koubou), which his father managed. Thereafter, he took over from his father and has been at Okawa now for more than 30 years. The technique passed down in the Hieda family from generation to generation is considered a family treasure. With this, he creates furniture with outstanding durability and beauty.
|2009||Recognized as Fukuoka’s “Contemporary Master Craftsman”|
|2014||Acknowledged as “Master in Okawa”|
- What kind of products are you making?
- Centering on traditional dressers, my creations include items made with paulownia-wood that require a delicate touch and extremely high technology. How did you come to this occupation?
- How did you come to this occupation?
- Kiri Koubou has been making paulownia wood dressers, and I am a third-generation craftsman. Born into an artisan family, I have been helping in the work area since I was a little boy acquiring technique little by little. My favorite subject from when I was in junior high school was Art. I was painting in oils, and my father said, “if you can paint picture like that, you should be able to make furniture,” and appointed me as his successor.
- What are you particular about in your work?
- Most of the work is hand-crafted, and so I am committed to using tools like smoothers,chisels, saws, and marking gauges. My motto is to “make outstanding products” and insist that one person make products from beginning to end. Other than this, there is the issue of the environment. We cannot cut down too many trees. My job goes hand-in-hand with nature. We cut down and use wood, and we also grow trees. From the perspective of environmental preservation, I think we need to be proactively involved in tree planting activities. Planting trees to create long-lasting furniture is our company’s commitment.
- What is the good thing about your job?
- When I was young (1960s), in line with restoration from the war and the changing housing environment, the demand for furniture grew and furniture making in Okawa turned to mass production. Okawa flourished through maximum production and prosperity. However, furniture is a durable item and not replaced frequently. With the decrease in demand, recession and overseas products entering Japan, the major share of mass-produced furniture in Okawa shrank. It had come to a point where Okawa City had to seriously rethink manufacturing, and I think that we are turning back from mass production to the old way of manufacturing, which was advantageous to us. There have been many suggestions for us to transit to mass production, but the fact that we have stuck to hand-crafting has made us what we are. I think this is the best decision we have made.
- What is your dream?
- First of all, a dream is what we have within ourselves and not something that is given to us. It is something that we create from within. The dream I had when I was 20 years old remained in my heart. This dream has been shaped into our company and has enabled us to participate in events and exhibitions with our expanding network of people. My big dream for the future is to be a part of Okawa town development. Specifically, I would like to harness the strength of all people to create a model district with trees as a theme and move on to beautifying our streets. I hope to help create streets that express the essence of woodcraft town, beautiful streets that blend into lives of people.
|Name of company||Kiri Koubou|
|Location||74-3 Enokizu, Okawa-shi, Fukuoka 831-0004|