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issue 20 | July 2021

This is the story of Japanese Craftsmanship Spirits:
Matatabi Craft



Matatabi craft, which is said to have existed since the Jomon period (about 2,400 years ago), has developed in the town of Mishima located in the Oku-Aizu region of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture. Being a town from the Northeastern region of Japan, Mishima is covered with heavy snow in the winter. With limited farming activities possible in this season, Matatabi craft became a winter handicraft for farmers in the region.

Strands of one-year-old vines of Matatabi (Actinidia polygama) are used in Matatabi craft. Matatabi is harvested from late October to late November. You peel off a vine’s outer rind and tear it into 3 to 5 strips depending on the size of the craftwork. Artisans carefully braid the strips into baskets. Diligently handcrafted baskets are durable and can last for more than 50 years if used properly. Unlike a bamboo basket, the one made with Matatabi is soft and thus very gentle to your hands and suitable for daily use. Matatabi baskets are used for rinsing rice and vegetables with water, because the baskets drain and dry well.

In the town where Matatabi handicraft products are made, the harvesting is done with care so as not to diminish the resources of the mountains. Not only the crafting technique but also the spirit of living in harmony with nature is passed on to the younger generations in the region.

Product: Tako Table


Photography: Yoneo Kawabe

Tako Dining Table’ legs are shaped into elegant arcs that are a perfect match for the design of the Tako Armchair. Both products appreciate the dynamic curves that look as if carved out of wood like a sculpture. When combined, these two items can create an ambience that will give the space an even more refined look. This versatile table fits in a variety of different places, including homes or workplaces.

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Maruni will release new products in September. Please look forward to our new collection launch!

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

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