Kumiko-zaiku is a traditional woodworking technique that has been used since ancient times in shoji screens, ranma (transom windows), and other architectural features of traditional Japanese houses .
To ensure that this technique remains a part of modern life and can be passed down to future generations, Tanemura Woodworks has created the Hikaribako, meaning “light box.” Each Hikaribako features a battery-operated LED, combining the kumiko-zaiku tradition with modern technology. To add a touch of elegance, each product is finished with luxuriant kyo-karakami-style paper. This blend of two of Japan’s finest cultural traditions, kumiko-zaiku woodwork and kyo-karakami paper, creates beautiful interiors. Enjoy the gentle light and shadows created by kumiko-zaiku.
The photos show kumiko-zaiku with a Kiri (paulownia wood) pattern. Requiring great skill, kumiko-zaiku is a traditional Japanese handcraft that involves making small components and slotting them together. There are many traditional kumiko-zaiku patterns, and Hikaribako incorporate designs including Asa-no-ha (hemp leaf) and Sakura (cherry blossom). Each pattern is assembled without using even a single nail.
Karakami is written “toushi “ ( “ Tang paper ” in Kanji ) and it is a beautiful worked paper brought from Tang in China in the Nara period as its name. “ Kyo Karakami “ ( Kyoto Karakami ) is nurtured by the old capital history for one thousand years.
Explaining Kyo-karakami briefly, it is like one kind of Print. We use a printing block which is hand-engraved on a magnolia plate with a traditional pattern brought from old times. On that surface arranging the pattern in the right position, we paint Kira (glittering material ) or Kofun ( powdered calcium carbonate ) on Japanese paper or torinoko paper (stout smooth paper ), depicting a pattern by palms one by one. It is a traditional hand-made way of printing.