Techniques of a long-established company passed down for 6 generations
ODATE MAGEWAPPA (BENTWOOD)
Magewappa (Bentwood) made from abundant resources
Founded in 1874, Kurikyu is a long-established manufacturer of Odate Magewappa (bentwood), a specialty of Akita Prefecture.
The company was founded by the Kurimori family, and originally began as a wholesaler before it began manufacturing “kabazaiku,” which was popular in the northeastern part of Akita Prefecture.
Kabazaiku is a wood craft using bark of mountain cherry trees, which is rare in the world, and is famous for its unique beauty of grain and luster that changes with age.
Our fifth generation kabazaiku craftsmen was particularly skilled and research-oriented, and he evendeveloped his own specialty tools.
This greatly improved work efficiency and enabled him to continue making products for a long time.
Furthermore, the antiques could be repaired even decades later.
After the great fire of 1956, Kurikyu used the experience gained from making kabazaiku products and began manufacturing Odate Magewappa (bentwood) in order to keep tradition alive.
While being the first in the industry to introduce woodworking machinery, the company insists on hand-painting and values unique manufacturing.
Magewappa originally was used as lunch boxes for lumberjacks, but in Odate, 400 years ago, the Kubota Clan encouraged warriors to make use of the abundant forest resources and developed it as a domestic occupation to escape poverty.
Later, it was passed down to craftsmen, who refined their skills, and as a result, it is the only type of bent-wood designated as a traditional national craft.
The charm of supple and strong natural cedar
Odate Magewappa is a woodwork made of elastic Akita cedar that is shaved thin, softened with boiling water, rolled into a cylindrical shape, glued together, and secured with mountain cherry bark.
It has long been used for lunch boxes, rice bowls, and cooked rice containers, and is characterized by its lightness and the fragrance of the wood.
Akita cedar is a high-quality material with a fine grain and annual rings that are almost equally spaced in width because it grows even in severe cold.
For this reason, it is lacquered only lightly to bring out the beauty of the natural wood surface.
Odate Magewappa also has excellent functionality.
It absorbs excess water, so condensation will not collect on the inside, and food placed inside tastes good even after many hours pass.
Furthermore, because of its high thermal insulation properties, your hands will not get hot even if you put hot soup in it.
Natural cedar can be sterilized and has good ventilation, so it is also hygienic.
At Kurikyu, the sixth generation of traditional craftsmen create a new form of magewappa, aiming to create products that enrich modern life.
A new style of magewappa
At Kurikyu, we create beautiful magewappa made of high-quality Akita cedar.
If properly cared for, our products can be used for decades while maintaining their refreshing wood aroma.
While continuing to use traditional techniques, we are also working to develop products that match modern lifestyles.
We have created magewappa that can be used for a long time, coming up with shapes that makes it easy to stack and store, and a finish that doesn’t darken or get damaged easily.
Furthermore, our products have won the Good Design Award many times for their stylish atmosphere created by the rustic texture of the wood grain.
Although plastic products have become the mainstream these days, we hope you will use our authentic magewappa as an everyday lunchbox, keeping the traditions of the past alive.
1988 Certified Traditional Craftsman by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry