A lamp and furniture showroom which suits the taste of both Kyo-sukiya and modern architecture.
Text : Keiko Nakamura / Photo : Takuya Oshima
The company office of Koseki which sells furniture and Sashimono (woodworking joints furniture) locates right in front of Kitaoji Horikawa bus stop. It established in 1984 as a company which handles interiors from ‘Nakamura Sotoji Komuten’ well-known for sukiya architecture with a real tea-ceremony room built by a famous master carpenter. Their furniture department focuses on vintage furnitures from Denmark and Sashimono department creates their own woodworking joints lamp. These two departments supported each other to develop this company.
The left side is the furniture showroom and the right side is the lamp showroom. At their beginning, the representative, Mr.Yoshiaki Nakamura started looking for furnitures which suit a modern sukiya architecture and he encountered furnitures from Denmark. He invited staffs from Denmark and increased the number of items they wanted to sell.
There are vintage furnitures on the second floor focusing on works of Finn Juhl and Hans・J・Wegner who are the furniture designers in Denmark. It seems that they have plenty of 1940’s and 50’s. Ms.Akane Iku told us, “We have ‘China chair’ made of brazillian rosewood which is not a usual material that Mr.Wegner uses and we also have one ‘First chair’ out of two in the world that he produced when he was a teenager so that we have a lot of guests who are big fan of him coming far away from here.”
There are some products that were made by the carpenters attached to the company such as a long Japanese zelkova table like a counter table at a sushi restaurant. A flooring material which has an engraving scar by a hand ax can be something extraordinary taste instead of having tatami mats on a floor.
Next is the lamp showroom. All the products at this Sashimono department were all hand made back inside of their studio. It feels really warm to see a lamp with Japanese paper because the light goes out through a paper and it becomes really soft.
A joiner, Mr.Yoshihiro Torihara who started working here since the beginning told us, “Sashimono is a skill not to use any nails and glues but making a mortise to join the woods each other. This technique has been succeeded to us for more than 100 years old and these lamps were made out of this great skill.” There are paper-framed lamps and polyhedral artistic lamps as well. We are all amazed by some lamps which are bent into arch shape and novel pendant design like a soccer ball. He also said, “We started creating lamps to suit sukiya architecture, but as we see there are houses without traditional Japanese room in these days, we more likely to sell our items to clients who have modern architecture. We have various customers such as Japanese style inn, traditional Japanese restaurant, general residence, and the guest house of Kyoto Prefecture.”
From a candle to a lightbulb and now to LED. A capacity of design for a lamp became much bigger than before because we don’t have to worry about burning our houses by using candles and lightbulb but at the same time we lost something good in a taste of light. He also said, “Yes, we suffer from high level demands and they are getting higher and higher in these days, but you know that this is what we do and worthwhile for everyone who works here.” I deeply thought that I need to come back here a few years later and would like to see their advanced products again.
ADDRESS : 15 Murasakino Nishigoshoden-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)75-415-2818 (Furniture dept.) +81(0)75-451-8012 (Sashimono dept.)
HOURS : 10:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.
CLOSED : Sunday, Monday, Holidays.
WEBSITE : http://www.kohseki.com
Reservation is required