Tanihata Co,Ltd About Kumiko

Kumiko Ramma

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Kumiko is a delicate and sophisticated technique of assembling wooden pieces without the use of nails. Thinly slit wooden pieces are grooved, punched and mortised, and then fitted individually using a plane, saw, chisel and other tools to make fine adjustments. The technique was developed in Japan in the Asuka Era (600-700 AD), and has since been refined and passed down through generations of craftsmen who are passionate about the tradition of Kumiko.

Art of Handwork

The Kumiko technique, which requires professional skill, is mostly used in dividers and sliding doors. But with changing lifestyles, the trend to have fewer or no Japanese-style rooms in the house, means that the number of young artisans drawn to the craft, is decreasing. Tanihata has been producing Kumiko woodwork since its foundation in 1959, promoting Kumiko, not only for traditional items, but also for modern products, thereby bridging the cultures of East and West.

Hemp Leaf Kumiko-Ramma Kumiko Tanihata

Accuracy Kumiko-Ramma Kumiko Tanihata

The technique of assembling pieces

Assembling pieces with an accuracy of 0.1mm is performed with special care. For each Hishi and lattice, the frame joints are cut, their edges chamfered and lengths adjusted, each step of the process requiring skill and experience. Different woods have their own characteristics, and as the pieces are made thinner, so the wood becomes more difficult to work with. Knowledge, skill and experience are required to select the appropriate wood and to process it correctly.

Lead time Kumiko-Ramma Kumiko Tanihata

Custom order – laid out piece by piece

Most of our Kumiko woodwork is made to order. We devote time to consultation with customers, measurement and preparation prior to starting production. A full-scale plan at actual size is sometimes drawn up before the woodwork begins. The initial setup can be more time consuming than the actual assembly.

Kumiko design petterns Kumiko-Ramma Kumiko Tanihata

Combination of over 100 patterns of Kumiko

Kumiko designs fall into two broad categories: Hishi Kumiko (diamond shape) and Koshi Kumiko (lattice). Based on a combination of horizontal and vertical lines, and with reference to the selected design, grids are fitted into the frames. There are several hundred variations of Kumiko, each requiring the use of appropriate tools and patterns. Our craftsmen are required to have a passion that drives them to develop their skills and knowledge of all Kumiko designs.

Carpenter's Tools Kumiko-Ramma Kumiko Tanihata

Choosing the correct tools

Experienced craftsmen select the appropriate tools, machines, and knives for the design they are working on. There are numerous types of plane for example, and more woodworking machines are used than in normal furniture factories (more than 70 in our factory), including computer controlled equipment. It is important to utilise modern technology, both analogue and digital, to facilitate a wide variety of production, and to respond promptly to diverse customer needs.

Material Kumiko-Ramma Kumiko Tanihata

Beautiful plane-finished coniferous wood

As our products are mostly made from long thin pieces of wood, relatively straight material is preferred, and as a matter of principle, none of our products are painted. Coniferous wood is characterised by its straightness and high quality fine grain, and is, therefore, suited to this work. Both Japanese and imported coniferous wood, differing in cost, colour and grain, are used.

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Kumiko Design Motifs Asanoha
Kumiko Design Motifs Goma
Kumiko Design Motifs Sakura
Kumiko Design Motifs Shokko
Kumiko Design Motifs Sayagata
Kumiko Design Motifs Izutsu
Kumiko Design Motifs Mikado
Kumiko Design Motifs Sannjyuubisi
Kumiko Design Motifs Senbon
Kumiko Design Motifs Masu
Kumiko Design Motifs Seikaiha
Kumiko Design Motifs Shippo
Kumiko Design Motifs Kakuasa
Kumiko Design Motifs Rindo
Kumiko Design Motifs Kagome
Kumiko Design Motifs Mitsukude
Kumiko Design Motifs Fundo
Kumiko Design Motifs Tsumiishi-kikko


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