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issue 14 | January 2021

This is the story of Japanese Craftsmanship Spirits:
Furoshiki and Tenugui



Wrapping things in traditional wrapping materials has recently been attracting attention. One such material is Furoshiki, and the other one is Tenugui.

Furoshiki literally means “bath spread” in Japanese. During the early Edo period (Edo: 1603-1868), people used Furoshiki at public baths. Somewhere in the middle of the Edo period it became established as a means for packing and transporting things. Tenugui, literally meaning “hand wipes”, is a rectangular hand towel said to have existed since the olden days. In the Edo period, cotton cultivation became popular, and the scraps that came out when making cotton kimonos turned into Tenugui, which became a daily necessity. Post rapid economic growth period, imported towels, and paper and plastic shopping bags gained more and more popularity in Japan. The rapid changes in the world temporarily overshadowed Furoshiki and Tenugui.

Nowadays, with Furoshiki and Tenugui available in a variety of materials, colors, and designs, younger generations have started appreciating them again. The beautiful prints are sometimes even put in picture frames as a piece of art. While the most popular usage of Furoshiki and Tenugui is wrapping up a Bento lunch-box, if you learn the art of tying, Furoshiki and Tenugui can be used like a recyclable wrapping paper for wrapping bottles, or like book covers, handbags, and more. The versatility of one simple cloth changing into many forms is fascinating.



Photography: Yoneo Kawabe

Following the launch of the HIROSHIMA Armchair in 2008, Maruni started receiving design requests for a stackable chair and stool from around the world. At the designing stage, the designer Fukasawa along with Maruni decided to use metal legs, which would enhance the beauty of the wooden parts retaining the aesthetics of the HIROSHIMA series.

In the process of verifying the overall balance, it was determined that the metal legs needed to be thin. This is how stainless-steel rather than iron was adopted for the HIROSHIMA ARMCHAIR STACKABLE & STOOL. For the HIROSHIMA series, which prioritizes the texture of wood, initially polished stainless-steel emphasizing the texture of solid steel was introduced. The following year, brushed stainless-steel was also introduced.

The stackable chairs and stools maintain their beauty even when viewed from behind or when stacked. The design achieves a harmony between the thin stainless-steel legs and the solid wood parts. The chairs have been in great demand for they are perfectly suitable for both home as well as office use.

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Check out INSPIRATIONS on our website for more inspiring ideas. Our latest projects,videos, and virtual showrooms are featured there.

© 2015-2021 Maruni Wood Industry Inc.

Maruni Wood Industry Inc.
24 Shirasago Yuki-cho Saeki-ku
Hiroshima, Japan

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