KUMIKO Ramma Wooden Screen Tanihata Lattice Lattice Partition Tanihata



Craftsmanship - “Kumiko” woodwork technique

“Kumiko”, in short, is a delicate technique of assembling wooden pieces without nails.
Thinly slit wooden pieces are grooved, punched and mortised, and then are assembled and joined one by one with plane, saw, chisel and other tools while fine adjustments are made. The “Kumiko” woodwork technique was developed in Japan in the Asuka Era (600-700 AD) and has since been refined and passed down through generations of craftsmen.
"Kumiko"- Art of Handwork
The technique of “Kumiko” is mostly found in dividers and sliding doors. One problem with the technique is that it is so sophisticated that you need a long time to master it. Besides, the change in our lifestyle to have fewer or no Japanese-style rooms in the house has led to the decrease in the number of young aspiring successors. Tanihata has been in the business of making “kumiko” woodworks since its foundation in 1959 and intends to have “kumiko” take root not only in traditional artifacts but also in modern products breaking the cultural barriers between the East and the West.

kumiko accuracy Wood work

The technique of assembling pieces with processing accuracy of 0.1mm.
The work of assembling pieces with incremental measurements of 0.1mm is performed with careful attention.
The frame joints are cut, their edges chamfered and their lengths are adjusted. Each process requires skill and experience.
The wood has its own characteristics and the thinner it becomes, the harder it is to work with. Knowledge and experience are required to make the right selections of wood and to process it properly.

kumiko leadtime Wooden Louvers

Custom order – laid out piece by piece
Most of our “kumiko” woodworks are made to order.
We spend a lot of time consulting with customers, measuring and other preparatory arrangements in addition to the time spent for the manufacturing process.
To take measurements for each piece, we sometimes draw a full-scale plan.
We often spend more time on the initial setup than on the actual manufacture.

kumiko design ART PARTITION

Combination of over 100 patterns of "Kumiko"
"Kumiko" designs are roughly divided into 2 types.
One is the Hishi Kumiko (diamond shape) and the other is Koshi Kumiko (lattice) with the combination of horizontal and vertical lines.
Using these basic designs, grids are fit into the frames.
There are over several hundred “Kumiko” design variations. The first step is to choose the right tools and knives for the design, which only experienced craftsmen can do.

kumiko carpenter's tool Craftsmanship

Choosing right tools
To make “Kumiko,” we use various tools, machines and knives. There are dozens of kinds of planes, for example.
We also use more kinds of woodworking machines than regular furniture factories, and we regularly use digital ones as well. (We own over 70 machines at our factory)
It is important to implement modern technologies to make a wide variety of products and respond to diverse needs promptly.

kumiko material Wooden screen

Plane-finished beautiful coniferous wood
We mainly use thin and long materials for our product and we need relatively straight materials (conifers). In addition, as a principle, we use no paint for our products and therefore, coniferous wood is suited for the gird for its characteristic of straightness and high quality of fine grain.
We use two types of woods, Japanese and foreign, which differ in terms of pricing, color and conditions.

Things to know about wood

about wood Wooden screen

You may not know it but you are surrounded by a variety of wooden products.
It is said that wood breaths and grows just like us. Wood may be closer to us than any other material.
Especially unpainted wood is still alive even after it is cut into pieces, adjusting the humidity by breathing, and with its soft and sweet smell, it continues to comfort us for many years.

In addition, the color of natural wood is friendly to our eyes.
Since we are surrounded by hard concrete walls and buildings, we probably need opportunities to draw comfort from its color, smell and atmosphere.
The wood conditions subtly change depending on the season, area, and location.
Natural wood has the power to recover itself as you can see from the picture.
Its breathing (or repeating contraction) is its advantage and at the same time its drawback. Products made of it change subtly depending on a number of outside factors including, dry weather of the Pacific side of Japan, rainy and heavy snow of the Japan Sea side, seasons and places as well as indoor or outdoor uses.
Using bare wood helps preserve its naturalness and you may feel comfortable with the bare skin but at the same it is fragile and sensitive.
(The urethane coating often used for furniture or doors prevents the deterioration of the wood by making a film on the surface of the wood. But the beauty of the wood is lost.)

wood Wood work

An experienced craftsman sorts and inspects wood.
A craftsman chooses materials using wood seasoning, and inspects the products for the customers. However, natural materials sometimes warp when used outdoors.
We stand ready to exchange the products if you have any problem with their use.
Most of the products on the market are made of composite boards.
These are artificial wood boards of plywood of MDF and LVL with printed vinyl chloride and paper on the surface to make them look like real wood.
These artificial wood products are found in doors and frames.
Because of the advancement of printing technology, irregularities on the surface can be created which helps such products look real at a glance. (See picture below). You might like to take a careful look at the doors of your house.
Printed artificial wood board has no features of real wood, but it has the stable quality suitable for mass production and low prices.
A higher quality of artificial product is covered with sliced genuine wood.

Wooden Screen Folding wooden partition

kumiko Processing Method

Processing Method
We use conifer wood for all or our products, Ranma (transoms), room dividers and fittings.
“Kumiko” products are made of beautiful conifer wood planed for its finish.
The biggest weak point of natural conifer wood is warping. Choosing the right wood for the product by inspecting the grain, weight and the temperature is the most important task for craftsmen.
Like human beings, most wood varieties have faults as seen on the picture above.
But we can make the most of them by knowing their characteristics and finding their suitable applications.
When we say “the process”, it includes the entire sorting process as well.
Big manufacturing companies use low-cost wooden materials made with artificial wood to increase operational efficiency and decrease complaints about warping problems from costumers.
For people who think that wooden products are just “consumable goods”, artificial ones may be good enough.
But we believe that it is our duty to create a useful and life-long product to make the best of limited resources.
Each product needs a different finishing method.
After having sawed roughly as shown at the picture 1, we shave it with a machine called Planer.
In the case of low-cost products, we plane only those with a particularly bad finish.
Sandpaper is sometimes used for the surface finish.
And we usually plane Ramma (transoms) for adequate finish.
By rethinking the strength, durability and economy of Kumiko,
we made it possible to produce Kumiko Ramma on a larger scale than everbefore.
Ramma gives harmony and a pleasant sense of tension to a space by adjusting the light and breeze.
We fulfill special orders in milliunits for not only housing
but hotels, restaurants, offices, galleries and boutiques.
Feel the smoothness, see the color changes and enjoy the fresh smell of the unpainted natural wood.

Wood Interior shop Partition for hotel halls

Ranma materials are Canadian ceder or Japanese ceder

Ranma materials are Canadian ceder or Japanese ceder.
Tanihata Kumiko's wood is primarily available in two types: Canadian ceder (from North America) and Japanese cedar (heartwood from Japan).
Canadian ceder is available at low prices, so we highly recommend it for people on a tight budget.
Japanese cedar features a beautiful grain, and the more you use it the more character it develops.

Compare Canadian ceder and Japanese Cedar
  Advantages Disadvantages Color Price Application
Canadian ceder ・Natural solid wood at low prices.
・Uniform look, with no color irregularities.
Thin wood grain, and does not possess as much as character as other types of wood. Pale yellow Commercial properties or properties where costs have to be kept low.
Japanese Cedar ・Features a clearer wood grain compared to other types of wood, creating more character the more it is used.
・Extremely well suited to the Kumiko technique, which highlights the wood's beauty within the finished product.
Shows a dispersion in color, so it is not particularly suited to spaces that are focused on color. Reddish brown (light red) 〇〇 Suitable for commercial spaces, residential housing, and holiday homes with specific requirements.

Kumiko Design List

Wooden Screen asanoha
Partition goma
Lattice sakura
Wooden Screen shokko
Wooden Screen saya-gata
Divider izutsu-wari-bishi
Partition wari-bishi
Wooden Screen sanjyu-bishi
Sliding Door senbon-koushi
Wooden Screen masu-koushi
Divider seikaiha
Partition shippo
Wooden Screen saya-gata
Wooden Screen sanjyu-bishi
Sliding Door senbon-koushi
Wooden Screen masu-koushi
Divider seikaiha
Partition shippo


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