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Japanese Room dividers & folding screen (byobu) | Ominato Bunkichi Shoten

Brand

Splendid craftsmanship in wood and paper refined over a history of more than a hundred years

OominatoBunkichi-Shoten

  • Meiji period
  • Authentic byobu screens

History

Locate in Kamo City, Niigata, which is called Little Kyoto in Hokuetsu.

The shop’ s history dates back to the early Meiji era (1868-1912), when the founder Bunkichi Ominato started the manufacture and wholesale of shibugami (an insect repellent, being spread under the soft rush tatami mats) made from traditional Japanese washi paper, a Kamo specialty, varnished with persimmon tannin extract. Later, in the Showa era (1926-1989), Bunkichi the Second started the manufacture and wholesale of byobu (folding screens bearing decorative paintings or calligraphy) with the use of the fabrication techniques for chests and fittings, which were the local industry of Kamo, creating products combining paper and wood -- the staple merchandise at the time. In the late 1970s to early 1980s, in addition to authentic Japanese furnishings, the shop developed and produced shoji paper screens blending the Western and Japanese styles into their design. In the late 1980s, the shop started the manufacture of general interior products and extended its lineup from folding screens to interior furnishings and partitions. While doing so, it further consolidated know-how of manufacturing fittings, picture and calligraphy mounting, and furniture, which enabled its entry into the market of office fixtures and Buddhist altar equipment.

Characteristic

Authentic byobu screens have survived for hundreds of years

Authentic byobu screens are essentially pieces of art, which only masterful craftsmen can make, using all natural materials such as wood and washi paper. That is proved by the existence of screens that have survived for hundreds of years without being degraded at all regardless of changes in temperature and humidity. We are aiming to revive and diffuse this traditional art in modern living spaces as a high-quality everyday interior product by utilizing the craftsmanship honed during our history of over a century in this domain. In recent years, in addition to those conventional furnishings, we have promoted the creation of made-to-order products such as speaker and audio player cases with the use of splendid woodworking based on the profound knowledge of the properties of wood, favored by customers who seek special articles of their own.

For Customers

Produced one by one, careful hand made

Among the modern lifestyles where Westernization is progressing, it is also true that byobu screens are treated as past. However, byobu screens is not only its original function but also furniture with excellent artistry. Ominato Bunkichi Shoten is working on product development on a daily basis if we want many people to know its splendor once again. Although byobu screens and shade are traditional Japanese interior products, a large amount of inexpensive overseas products made with machinery are flowing into Japan. However, Ominato Bunkichi Shoten keeps the tradition since its founding and continually manufactures it without compromising on quality with careful hand-made production.


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