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Maker x Creator Series

100% Funded within 5 days of launch!

wooden bento box, japanese bento box, wood bento, japanese crafts

Rethinking Japanese wooden bento box

曲物 (ma-ge-mono): bent-ware

Beyond Bento

We are grateful to receive support from all the amazing Backers. 

Our project was fully funded within 5 days of launch at Kickstarter and have finished on April 30.

But it doesn't stop there. 

We are busy producing. Please continue to follow this project as it evolves to give you access to more wonder crafts of Japan! 

 Redefining Hakata Magemono Bentwood Craft
博多曲物の再定義

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We invite you to reimagine the past, live the present, and craft the future.

Explore the depths of "Magemono" Japanese bent-ware artistry and be the author of

your own Story of Bent-ware マゲモノガタ​」

The Town

Maidashi, Fukuoka Japan

Hakozaki Shrine is known as the the birthplace of Hakata region bentwood craft where the umbilical cord of Emperor Ojin (201AD) was placed in side a bentwood box and buried at the shrine. 

One block away is Maidashi district. It was once a flourishing town where many Shrine officials and workers resided.  Up until 1930s, the street leading to the Shrine was lined with over 20 family-run craft workshops making shingle roof boards and bent-wood ritual vessels. Skills are styles of each family were passed down for generations.  The area’s bent-wood craft used to be called "Maidashi Magemono" 馬出曲物, named after the district. It has since be renamed as "Hakata Magemono” as municipal redevelop and rename the region. 

Currently there are only 2 heritage families (ShibataToku and Shibata Tamaki) in Fukuoka producing Hakata magemono. Shibata-Toku (established 1850) is the only one remaining in the original location of Maidashi.  

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The Creator

Taketombo Corp.   
Goenne.com

Taketombo, established in 2018, is a social enterprise devoted to the revitalization of Japanese Traditional crafts through creative intervention and activities. 

 

The Magemonogatari Project (adopted as "Beyond Bento" in English), was initiated in 2021, aiming to leverage a new magemono product to re-energize the Craft, re-evaluating the value of handmade objects, and building new overseas interests.  In May 2023, with the retirement of master artisan Mr. Morita, we witnessed in real-time a Japanese crafts dwindled. We want to use this project to bring awareness to the importance in sustaining this craft. For anyone (including us) home-based in Fukuoka, Hakata magemono is the city’s cultural heritage and pride of “Fukuokans”.

The project was selected as finalists in 2023 25th annual Fukuoka Design Award.

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The Maker

ShibataToku Bentwood Shop

Few centuries ago, the bustling main street of Maidashi was lined with magemono bent-wood shops ran by 20 some families. ShibataToku Shoten is one of them and now the only one remaining in its original location. 5th Generation artisan TokuGoro Shibata had led bentwood craft to become Fukuoka City's Intangible Culture. In 2017, 6th generation Ms. Yoshiko Shibata took over the heritage business and operate with master craftsman Mr. Taizo Morita with over 50 years of bentwood experience. However, the days where you can see and hear artisans working at the shop-front on Maidashi's main street is long gone. 

 

Like most traditional craft in Japan, for years ShibataToku has been unable to find any apprentice. In 2023, at age 78, Mr. Morita announced his retirement. With no successor, owner Ms. Shibata, now in her 60s, plans to continue the family business for as long as she can until her own retirement.  ShibataToku now accepts special orders and produces very limited items. 

wooden bento box, japanese bento box, wood bento, japanese crafts, japanese street

Unleash the potential of the iconic bentwood box.