Yoshitaka Nakaya

< Manufacturing that bonds Satoyama (rural natural areas) at the foot of Mt. Fuji and people >

Since I live in Satoyama, rural natural areas, I often hear these words, “I do not know how to use this tree that my ancestors planted.” or “I used to play around this tree as a kid but now it has died down.” As a person engaged in woodworking, I became to think that I wanted to make things with those trees. I would be delighted if my products would help you think about Satoyama at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

< Enjoying the shapes trees creates >

Once trees discharge their moisture, they start to change their forms. There is no way to control those changes. I think such shapes which express the natural forms would amuse us a lot.

My starting point is the memory of playing around the mountain and river.

When I was a child, I used to go fishing to the river with my father and friends. Then during my days at university, I went to camping trips on my motorcycle to get back to nature.  My senior at the club at university invited me to climb Mt. Hodaka in autumn, which led me to spend much time in climbing. At the citizens’ college on environments around rivers, which my senior at the research group deluded me to join by saying “Let’s go camping”, I learned that forests and trees are closely related to water circulation.
Those experiences led me to become an architect of a waste unit. I thought I would be able to make myself useful for the environment and society. However, my longing to create things with my hands grew. And I had no doubts that I wanted make things with woods. There were always trees in my memories of playing avidly at mountains and rivers.
Having decided to change my career from working with machines (irons) to woods, I got a job at a woodworking company in Kiso but could not engage in the creation department so I resigned. After saving money by working at a cabin, I entered a woodworking school, Shinrin Takumi Juku. There I learned production techniques while making woodworks of Oak Village, the school’s parent company. After two years at the school with great peers, I got a job at the production department of custom-made furniture at Oak Village. I produced about 100 pieces a year, mainly box type furniture, such as cupboards and bookshelves. Gradually, I started to think I wanted to create my own products and left there and established my own studio.

I want to produce daily tools, making good use of woods at hand.

After becoming independent, I produced furniture and small things. At one point, I came across with a technique of making containers with unseasoned woods (undried woods). It is a technique which manufactures woods right after being cut down with a machine called a lathe and then dries them. I remember that I was stunned thinking “This is such a revolutionary technique!”  I thought this, the woodworking which makes full use of unseasoned woods, is what I really wanted to do. However, I did not give it a try for a while since I had hardly used a lathe.

Then I came across with an idea of making a lampshade with this technique. I could not stop thinking about it and decided to ask Mr. Jiro Suda for teaching. With what I learned from Mr. Suda, I got ready with a lathe and needed tools and started to produce lampshades in 2012. Started with lampshades and vessels, now I produce pieces with accessible woods, such as table lamps and desk lamps.

About the future

Now I use dried woods which I buy from a lumber shop for small things but I hope to use woods from Mt. Fuji in the future. It might take time to make boards from a wood and dry them but I aim to create a production made with woods only from Mt. Fuji.
I am going to keep working with my wishes to make full use of the familiar trees and forests.

    Caring for wooden vessels

    We, Komono NAKAYA, apply food-safe finishes to our products with oil and lacquer suitable for tableware. Please refer to the following when using them.
  • Do not use them for hot liquid foods at the first use. For, at first, woods have not gotten assimilated well enough, liquid gets soaked, which might cause cracks and torsions.
  • We recommend using them as salad bowls for the first couple of months. Please do not hesitate to use dressings and mayonnaise. They go well with the wood surface. As the surface gets smooth and assimilated, use them to serve fried foods as well. The oil gets supplemented to the wood surface and renders a better complexion.
  • Once the surface gets tougher, you can use them with stewed food. We hope you enjoy using our products as if nourishing them.

  • < How to prevent cracks and deformation >
  • Do not put them in microwave, oven or dishwasher.
  • Do not soak them in water for hours nor store them in an extremely drying condition.

  • < How to care >
  • When washing, use a soft sponge with a neutral detergent. Please refrain from scrubbing for it causes scuffing.
  • After washing, wipe them with a dry cloth and dry them thoroughly.
  • If you are concerned with scuffing, rub edible oil such as olive oil, salad oil or walnut oil onto the surface.

  • We hope for your long and continued use.
From Uzumasa, Kyoto.
Graduated from Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
After working at a shipbuilding machinery company, entered Oak Village Co., Ltd and worked as a manager of manufacturing department of custom made furniture.
2009 Established Komono NAKAYA.
2011 Accepeted for the exhibition, Craft in Action.
Also, has been working for numbers of personal exhibitions and projects exhibitions.