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Shimaguwa Sashimono

 - Edo Stylishness-

What is Shimaguwa?

Shimaguwa is a type of mulberry wood that grows naturally on Miyakejima and Mikurajima in the Izu Islands. Its ethereal grain, color, and luster were favored by the people of Edo, who valued stylishness, and it was prized as the pinnacle of "Edo Sashimono". Craftsmen who made Shimaguwa Sashimono furniture were called "Mulberry craftsmen," and were held in high esteem. Although the number of craftsmen and types of furniture has decreased with the depletion of materials, Kichizo still produces chests of drawers, tea chests, mirror stands, decorative shelves, needle cases, and more.


History of Shimaguwa

Until the postwar period of the Showa era, before the spread of Westernization, Shimaguwa's y dresser were the best furnishings for the weddings of young ladies in the Kanto area.

Many Kabuki actors also used Shimaguwa actor mirror stands.


Craftsmen who use Shimaguwa to create woodworking joints furniture are called by the highest titles of "Mulberry craftsmen" and "Sojyusho"(mulberry master).

After "Mulberry craftsmen" such as Maeda Somei, Suda Sogetsu, Shimazaki Akiyoshi, Sato Tokutaro, and Shimazaki Kuniharu established the golden age of Edo cabinetwork, it has been passed down to current Edo woodworking joints' craftsmen such as Kimura Tadashi, Toda Toshio, Onda Katsuya, Shimazaki Shigeaki, and many others.

Shimaguwa is also the best material for biwa, a classical musical instrument, and there are only a few biwa craftsmen in Japan.


Features of Shimaguwa

Moist and sticky wood taste.

The beauty of the dense, luminous grain. Shimaguwa is an ethereal wood that changes its color from bright yellow to yellowish-brown.


Mulberry is used for tea ceremony utensils and woodworking joints furniture, and the "Shimaguwa" produced in Mikurashima is regarded as a rare and precious wood.

Mikurashima has been inhabited since the Jomon period, and the island has been established on the promise since the Edo period.

The population has not increased or decreased, and one of the industries is forestry. Good quality boxwood and mulberry timber have been harvested and shipped under controlled conditions, but nowadays they are rarer than Yakusugi cedar. They are said to be sleeping deep in the forest in their natural state.


It has a noble luster and ethereal grain. It is probably one of the most beautiful woods in the world as it changes to tortoiseshell color with time.


Among the cabinetwork made of Mikura Island Mulberry, a famous wood in Japan, the most popular type is the kagamidai (mirror stand).

Since Japanese furniture was born from the life of tatami mats, it includes a one-sided mirror, a three-sided zagamirror, and a full-length mirror.

And the basic technique of woodworking joints furniture is the production of the Waharibako (Japanese needle box).

Waharibako is a staple of Edo cabinetwork and is still popular among "Kichizo" shimaguwa woodworking joints furniture.

We are now selling vintage Shimaguwa woodworking joints in our online store as part of Kichizo's 100th anniversary project.

We are selling only limited editions of furniture such as mirror stand and tea chest, which have become difficult to produce due to the decrease in the number of Shimaguwa.

Some of them are one-of-a-kind limited edition pieces that will never be available again. Please come and see the ethereal beauty of Shimaguwa.

吉蔵100周年記念 第1弾 吉蔵ヴィンテージ

Kichizo Vintage (to online shop)

Kichizo Island Mulberry Products

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