Universal beauty to make life rich ”Matsumoto Mingei Kagu”

Universal beauty to make life rich
”Matsumoto Mingei Kagu”

Classical workmanship loved throughout the ages

A long-standing furniture shop in Matsumoto City established in 1944. Executive director of the company and grandson of the founder Sanshiro Ikeda,Mototami (色々調べましたが名前の読み方が不明) Ikeda greeted us at the Central Showroom. Furnitures manufactured here are renowned for the blend of western antique and Japanese traditional design. They are also made to be durable, and can be passed down from generation to generation. There are many fans of the company. ”Taro Maruyama of Matsumoto Mingeikan and my grandfather were classmates, and that led us to the world of folkcraft”, Ikeda told us.

When you put ego aside, the beauty comes out

Matsumoto City has been known for furniture making for over 400 years, but there were times when the tradition was tapering down.” (Muneyoshi) Yanagi said that once the fire of tradition extinguishes, it cannot be lit again. That motivated me strongly to start a furniture shop” explained Ikeda. In order to make furniture which ”people will never get tired of”, ”The furniture maker must let go of his ego. Then the natural beauty will start to appear. People will lose interest in furniture with too much emphasis. They should be absolutely beautiful, and exist naturally, like the air.” When asked which furniture was the most impressive, the answer was ”#44 Windsor Chair”. Its design was born from English common culture, and ”there is no chair that surpasses the structure mechanics of this chair. It is a piece of perfection”.

Saw Pattern craftsmen, assembly craftsmen, and painting craftsmen divide work in furniture making

We were introduced to the furniture factory nearby. Here, craftsman of saw pattern (cutting), assembly, and painting divide tasks and work separately. It is said that division of labor is better to ”use material rationally without waste”. It is a rule to carve a letter from the name of the craftsman on the furniture, and by doing so, it is clear who worked on it. In the painting section, which handles the final step, the painter was carefully applying varnish to a chair. It takes 12 steps of applying paint by hand. You can see the difference in the quality the longer you use the furniture. While watching the near completion of the chair, Nakata commented ”This rich dark color is a symbol of Matsumoto Folk Furniture.” We were told that ”in the old houses, people used to polish the pillar that was smoked by the hearth every day. It is the color engraved in Japanese people’s identity”. The founder explained that this was the reason he decided to use this color for his products.


Matsumoto Mingei Kagu
4-7-5 Chuo, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://matsumin.com/