"Karuizawa": an art created from the meeting of a European lifestyle and Japanese taste.
Karuizawa is famous for being one of the best summer resorts in Japan. It was established in 1886 when Alexander Croft Shaw, a missionary who belonged to British legation, first built his summer house in the area. After that, many foreigners built western-style houses as their summer villas one after another. There soon developed a need for food and furniture to fit their western-style way of life and architecture.
Nikko, about 100 kilometers away from Karuizawa, was known for its traditional woodworking. Among them was a style of engraving called Nikko-bori. In 1908, Kanekichi Shimizu and Mijiro Kawasaki, craftsmen of Nikko-bori, started to manufacture western-style furniture to fit the lifestyle and aesthetics of the foreign newcomers.
Though there were many varieties of designs at first, the traditional Japanese cherry pattern design, an image representative of Japan, grew to become the main motif of engraving. Innovations in production, such as creating furniture that could be disassembled into pieces, were developed to allow easy export to the foreigners’ home countries.
The signature characteristics of Karuizawa-bori decoration can be seen in the motifs, most commonly the cherry blossom, and in the intricate stippling technique of fine dots called Hoshiuchi, star pattern. Each piece of furniture is crafted with careful attention to detail, and perfected with ornamental design of great depth.
We are proud of creating furniture that is equally at home in both the modern 21st century and traditional Japanese space. We believe that one’s personal attachment to these pieces will grow the longer one has them.
To send a message, please fill out e-mail form. We will get back to you shortly.
Since its foundation in 1947, Sibazaki has grown immensely through its support by local people, summer residents, and a great number of tourists.
The present Empress Michiko purchased a treasure box by Sibazaki as one of her furnishings at the occasion of her royal marriage. It is said that she still cherishes it as an article of remembrance from the place where she first met His Majesty (the then prince).
-> Google Map
“a traditional craft of guaranteed quality by Nagano prefecture
In 1983, Karuizawa-bori was designated as “a traditional craft of guaranteed quality by Nagano prefecture” among many other famous crafts such as “Kiso” and “Matsumoto” in the same prefecture.