Enjoying the color of trees through ”kumiko” craft ”Shimano Woodwork Studio, Koji Shimano”

Enjoying the color of trees through ”kumiko” craft
”Shimano Woodwork Studio, Koji Shimano”

Household fixtures become richer with ”kumiko” craft and expression of the wood

Koji Shimano of Shimano Woodwork Studio is a ”kumiko” craft artisan who makes ornamental fixtures such as shoji screens and transoms.
First, he showed us his work.
Taking a look at the detailed work, Nakata lost his words.
”This is like a picture!”
He was mesmerized by the piece.

”How many colors are you able to express?”
”Every tree has a different color, so actually, many. I can create yellow and green as well. ”
”You mainly use Japanese cypress, right?”
”Yes. If I use a hard material like zelkova, it looks like it has more weight, and if I use oak, that brings out a different texture. I have to be able to pick out the best materials.”

When looking at the shoji screen with a gourd on it, Nakata commented, ”It’s interesting to see how the designs overlap when the screens are opened.”
”That is true.” nodded Shimano. ”Oh, yes.”As if he remembered something, he showed us a door.
It was a regular door.

But when the light was turned off, the painting of a gourd appeared faintly.
”Oh! Is that carved inside? That’s interesting.”
”This is not ”kumiko”, but I put on a thin layer of wood after I carved the gourd. The picture shows through if I do that.”

Relaying the beauty of detailed ”kumiko” art

After looking at the artwork, we went to the studio for a tour.
Seeing a ”kumiko” piece that was being made, Nakata made a comment.
”It is so intricate. It must be overwhelming work…”
”Yes it is. It is hard work to make all the different parts. But when putting them together, it’s so much fun that I don’t want to go to sleep.”
”Do you make the parts too?”
He does everything manually.
”Many still aren’t aware of ”kumiko”. So, first, I want more people to know about it. I’m always thinking about what I can do to achieve this.”


Shimano Woodwork Studio Koji Shimano
Sakura, Chiba