Traditional Craft men & women in Taito city

Kiri-Kogei [ Paulownia Craftwork ]

Miyata Kazuhiko

Mr. Kazuhiko Miyata is a paulownia kimekomi zaiku craftsman at Hakocho.

Mr. Kazuhiko Miyata’s grandfather and father worked as paulownia kimekome zaiku craftsmen along with their siblings.

“From the time I was a small child I watched many craftsmen and I learned a lot by watching them without even realizing it. I loved making things so I naturally decided to follow the path of a craftsman.” Mr. Kazuhiko Miyata said.

One thing that Mr. Kazuhiko Miyata has noticed during his years as a craftsman is that while it’s important to inherit the techniques of traditional arts it’s equally important to match the needs of the current generations otherwise customers won’t buy the products. He also stated that at Hakocho they are constantly pursuing current trends which might be a bit unusual compared with other craftsmen of traditional arts.

“For example, tissue boxes have become everyday items now but at Hakocho we were already making them back in the 1970s. At that time most people didn’t use tissues so we couldn’t sell them at all, but after about 10 years they started to become popular. At the moment, travel sewing kits are popular. A while ago a proper sewing box was considered essential for a bride, but now most of the younger generations don’t do much sewing apart from reattaching the occasional button. For that reason, a lightweight and portable sized box that doesn’t take up much space is much more attractive.”

Mr. Kazuhiko Miyata said that he feels the most satisfaction from his job when the finished product turns out exactly as he had imagined and after delivering it to the customers he receives a telephone call or letter of appreciation from them.
In addition to that he said, “I travel to department stores all over the country for exhibitions and some customers wait excitedly when they hear I’ll be there. When we see these customers time after time we can figure out what kinds of products they like and give them demonstrations we think will make them feel happy. Craftsmen feel true happiness when we know that a customer is excitedly waiting.”

Hakocho Co., Ltd.

Address: (Tokyo) Taito, Kotobuki 1-4-5 (shop on Orange Street)

Telephone: 03-3843-8719

Hours: 10:30am – 7pm

Holidays: Open every day of the year