Studio Kuku Reveals its Wooden Heart
In Komoro, a village encircled by greenery, the Tani family designs furniture and wooden objects in keeping with the surrounding forest.
© 2009 Kyoko Tani
All around there are forests, hot springs, and temples. We are in the region of Nagano, at the foot of mount Asama, in the small town of Komoro. It is in this dream-like landscape that the husband-and-wife team, the Tanis, have established their design studio, Studio Kuku.
Keeping the spirit of wood alive
Ku refers to the spirit of the tree in the Nihon Shoki, a classical Japanese text published in 720. Kuku is thus a reference to the multitude of wood that is used by the artisans of Studio Kuku to create furniture, wooden tableware, and other accessories.
Imbued with the animist tradition specific to Shintoism, the couple explains that the spirit of the tree is transferred to the person who creates the object, and then on to the person who uses it. According to them, the new owners of their creations will therefore keep the spirit of wood alive in turn.
Address: 4741 Amaike , Komoro City, Nagano 384-0021 Japan.
© 2018 Kyoko Tani
©2017 Kyoko Tani
© 2007 Kyoko Tani
© 2007 Kyoko Tani
Paris, Tokyo: Robert Compagnon
With his co-chef and talented wife, Jessica Yang, Robert Compagnon opened one of the top new restaurants in Paris: Le Rigmarole.3:31
Diving into Japanese Denim
The documentary ‘Weaving Shibusa’, directed by David Leisher in 2017, explores the techniques used to make jeans in Japanese workshops.
‘Shimakage’, Dreamlike Photography
In this series of photographs, Chieko Shiraishi conveys the essence of her work: introspection and the poetic nature of black and white.
The Tattoos that Marked the Criminals of the Edo Period
Traditional tattoos were strong signifiers; murderers had head tattoos, while theft might result in an arm tattoo.
Rituals of Ancient Gay Shunga Erotica
Shunga was prolific in Japan during the Edo period, with ‘nanshoku’ referring to the depiction of homosexual erotica.