2015.3.27
Art Okayama

World Class Hinoki Cypress Furniture from the 100-year Forest!

 

Stylish and full of warmth, maybe because it is made of hinoki cypress, the “Nordicesque” furniture produced by Youbi Carpentry Workshop works well in both Western and Japanese-style rooms.
 

Japan is almost the only country that produces hinoki cypress wood, the main timber grown in the Hundred Year Forest Plan of Nishiawakura village. Having been used for high-class bath construction among other items since ancient times, hinoki cypress is well known to the Japanese. However, hinoki cypress furniture had not been produced until now!

"This was an issue to do with strength and culture," says Mr. Masayuki Oshima from Carpentry Workshop Youbi.

 
 

Mr. Masayuki Oshima, the representative director of Carpentry Workshop Youbi, is seated in the middle of the front row in the photograph.

Mr. Oshima heard about Nishimura village's Hundred Year Forest Plan and was deeply impressed by the idea that by making furniture the forest would be maintained as well as be born again beautiful. Gathering like-minded individuals, he started Carpentry Workshop Youbi and took up the challenge of making furniture out of hinoki cypress.

After (very) much trial and error (this article isn't long enough to fully tell the tale), the finished furniture immediately became well established both domestically and internationally. The beautiful pieces created by Mr. Oshima and his comrades have brought fresh value to the Hundred Year Forest.

 

 

 

This is a reworking in hinoki cypress of the traditional Windsor chair. As well as being lightweight, Hinoki cypress furniture is superbly fragrant, an aroma that makes the Japanese heart and body relax wherever it is found.

 
 
For a firsthand look at the furniture, visit Youbi no nichiyouhinten ('Youbi's store for daily necessities'), Carpentry Workshop Youbi’s showroom in Nishiawakura village.

 

In addition to textiles and other original products created at Carpentry Workshop Youbi, you can also purchase other carefully chosen, high quality items from Okayama prefecture.

 
 
 
 

We recommend the Youbi coffee beans (100g/JPY500). A roasted blend with a rich fragrance and exquisite sweetness, it is Mr. Oshima's favorite. He apparently drinks it while at work!

The taste is refined, almost like at a store for Nordic commodities, but everything is made in Nishiawakura Japan.

The concept behind Carpentry Workshop Youbi is "making things that before long will be a part of the scenery". That's right, making it a part of the scenery = everyday life, to be surrounded by such high quality products. The craftspeople that aim for this goal are an existence brightly shining upon life, not only in Okayama, but also all over Japan.

The culture we should be proud of lives now deep in the woods of Japan.
 

Carpentry Workshop Youbi – Youbi no nichiyouhinten

Address: 43 Sakane, Nishiawakura village, Aida district, Okayama prefecture
Telephone: 0868-75-3223
Homepage: http://youbi.me/ec/ (Japanese)
 

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Asami Asai / Katsutoshi Asai (Kokohore Japan)

 

 

 

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Kokohorejapan Inc.

Kokohorejapan Inc.

Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/

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