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The cups, plates, and other tableware produced by Takahashi Kougei are made with wood bestowed by the mountains of Hokkaido, and the creation of such utensils serves to link the mountains with the people. The forests are managed with care so that younger trees can grow, which entails felling the right number of older trees to allow the forest room to breathe.
Wood items in the home can have a very soothing effect. The soft, warm feel of wood has a gentle quality, perhaps because the color of wood, which ranges from white to black, resembles that of the human skin.
The crafting of wood tableware serves an important purpose for both the forest and people, both serving the needs of the ecosystem and giving warmth and comfort to users.
This series of mainly drinking vessels are made from sen (castor aralia) trees using a lathe. They are thin enough to allow the light to pass when held up to a light source hence the name kami (paper). The sides of the Kami series are only millimeters thick. The feel of wood when drinking is warm and gentle.
Material: (Hokkaido) Castor aralia
Finish: Tableware urethane coating
Design: Takahashi Hidetosi, Oji Masanori (Oji & Design)
Dimensions (size may vary slightly)
S (W7.6 × D: 7.6 × H: 8.5)
M (W: 8.1 × D: 8.1 × H: 9.1)
L (W: 8.5 × D: 8.5 × H: 9.6 )
S (W: 7.4 × D: 7.4 × H: 5.5)
M (W: 8 × D: 8 × H: 6 )
L (W: 8.8 × D: 8.8 × H: 6.6)
Founded in Asahikawa Hokkaido in 1965 by Shoichi Takahashi, a lathe worker, the business originally produced table legs and ornamental pillars. With the downturn in the domestic furniture market in the 1980s, Takahashi Kougei started to produce wood cups and sugar pots using lathes and established the Asahikawa group of wooden tableware makers.
Creating simple and functional tableware, using predominantly Hokkaido-grown trees while preserving the look and feel of wood, the items—such as the Kami series drinking cups—have a modern sensibility. Hidetoshi Takahashi became president in 2009.