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Artisan Mr. Morita and ShibataToku Shop featured in this week's newspaper.

A friend forwarded a newspaper clipping to me this week!

It mentioned a bit of history about Hakozaki and Maidashi district. Since the early days, high-quality underground water had been servicing the entire region. Feudal Lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi (16th century) had his tea ceremony held in Hakata often, accompanied by grand tea master Sen no Rikyu. Tea Master Rikyu would take water from the local well. The remains of the well is still standing in the local neighborhood.

Maidashi is known for its bent-wood craft since then. In Pre-war Japan, there were over 20 workshops lining the street making bent-wood objects for the shrine, for tea ceremony and daily use. Read more about Maidashi on our site.

ShibataToku is the only remaining bent-wood shop in Maidashi now. 6th generation Ms. Shibata (62) wants to sustain Maidashi Bent-wood craft when his late father TokuGoro's work was recognized as Hakata's Intangible Culture. Mr. Taizo Morita, now age 75, is the only bent-wood artisan hand-making bent-wood objects at ShibataToku. He has over 50 years of experience in bent-wood. (Check out his bentwood boxes from our page!)

Hakata last remaining Bent-wood Craft Shop in Maidashi.
West Japan News

Ms. Shibata is a very energetic, open-minded shop owner. Every time I visit the shop, we often talk about new ideas and new use for bent-wood boxes. She understands one way to preserve and sustain her trade is to seek out new design and ideas. She said, "Bent-wood objects are very functional, I hope everyone will try and get familiar with them." This year, Kyushu Sangyou University 3rd Year Environmental Design students worked with ShibataToku and developed a new new products using traditional bent-wood craft. Young creative minds are injects new energy into a traditional craft.

Product Design Students worked with Mr. Morita to develop fun products, shown here are bentwood bread box, and triangle onigiri rice ball bento box.
Environmental Product Design students' work

Kyushu Sangyo University Product Design students' work on display at ShibataToku this month.

We will continue our work with ShibataToku, and bring more interesting objects to life. Magemono (bent-wood objects) are warm to touch, the material naturally maintains right moisture for the food, and not to mention, they are eco-friendly! Please join us and reinvent the use of these beautiful hand-crafted bent-wood objects.

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