Handmade Kumiko Wood Coaster by Yourself

Handmade Kumiko wood kit

Only One in the World?! Handmade Kumiko Wood with Kumiko Kit

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Kumiko wood kit

  • Our original set
  • Exclusive gift box
  • With Japanese description
  • With English description

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You can make Kumiko wood by yourself! Easy Kumiko kit

Do you know “Kumiko”?
Kumiko wood is made of small wooden parts.
Would you like to make stylish Wooden Kumiko coaster with Kumiko kit? You can make Kumiko fixture easily at your home.
It is good to touch Japanese crafts with your friends or family.

This time, we would like to introduce “Handmade Kumiko kit.”
This kit is to make Kumiko wood coaster by yourself with your sense. You can feel like you are a craftsman while you assemble wooden parts.

Assembling wooden parts to make Kumiko wood coaster

In addition to introduction of handmade Kumiko wood kit, we would like to answer your questions;

“What is Kumiko?”
“I have no idea what is good Kumiko or bad one. What is the difference between Kumiko fixture and wooden crafts?”
“It seems there are various Kumiko wood, but what is the difference?”
“I would like to adopt Kumiko as my home decor, but I do not have Japanese-style room.”
“Kumiko is beyond my means since it looks too expensive and high-class.”

So, what is Kumiko or Kumiko fixtures?

“Kumiko” is a technique to make fixtures or household items. Craftsmen work notches or tenons and mortises on wooden plates or small wooden parts and assemble them without nails or adhesives.

If you know Kumiko fixtures, you may imagine wooden work with some geometric patterns. However, works without any decorations are also called “Kumiko fixtures.”
For example, frame of Shoji (Japanese paper screen) is one of the Kumiko fixtures if that is without nails of adhesives.
Traditional crafts or traditional skills seem to be far away from our daily life. In fact, we can find many Kumiko work in our life.

Kumiko is a wooden craft? NO! Pursuit and beauty of Kumiko wood

There are several different opinions for Kumiko wood. However, we see that Kumiko is totally different from wooden crafts from our real experience of seeing and touching it. We would like to introduce what is the difference from our experience.

  1. Kumiko wood work by superb skill of craftsmen

    Above all, the biggest difference between Kumiko and wooden crafts is various technique of craftsmen filled in delicate design.

    In delicate work of Kumiko wood, wooden parts are processed in about 1mm (about 3/64 inches!) to express brilliant design.
    For curvy patterns, Kumiko craftsmen do not cut a board to rounded piece. Expansion and contraction of wood changes depends on seasons. Also, rounded wood is not durable for degradation over time. Therefore, craftsmen make tiny notches (less than 1mm!) on 1mm-thick wooden part and arch a piece according to the notches little by little.

  2. Kumiko is an elaborate architecture!

    Next, we would like to mention the design of Kumiko wood which is well-calculated as an architecture.

    In design of Kumiko fixtures, Kumiko is designed with the consideration for the whole space with Kumiko wood and feeling of users of Kumiko products.
    For example, for Shoji screen, craftsmen consider what are the best wood and width of Shoji to move smoothly depends on houses.
    In the case of shoji or transom with Kumiko wood, craftsmen calculate how light comes through each Kumiko wood and how Kumiko changes the feeling of residents depends on times, weather, or volume of light.

    Kumiko fixture
  3. A lot of wishes in Kumiko design

    At last, we would like to tell the meanings of Kumiko patterns.
    Each design of Kumiko has name and meaning. Let us introduce patterns and the meanings in them.

What are the meanings in Kumiko wood patterns?

Japan Design Store offers 2 patterns of Kumiko kit, “Asanoha (hemp)” and “Rindou (Gentiana scabra)” We would like to introduce the meanings for each pattern.

  1. Kumiko wood “Asanoha” pattern

    Kumiko wood kit Asanoha pattern
    Asanoha pattern from Yamakawa Tategu

    “Asanoha (hemp)” pattern has been used for clothes for new babies or undershirt for kimono for Omiyamairi, which is a custom to take babies to a shrine to pray for blessing.

    Hemp grows very fast, about 3cm (about 1.2 inches) per a day and it becomes as tall as 3m (9.8 feet) in 3 ~ 4 months.
    Also, hemp is hard to get insect pests while growing. Because of this character, people have used hemp for mosquito net.

    Just like that hemp, people wish upon “Asanoha” pattern as talisman that a child grow up in health without any obstacles of evils.


  2. Kumiko wood “Rindou” pattern

    Kumiko wood kit Rindou pattern
    Rindou pattern from Yamakawa Tategu

    “Rindou” pattern is derived from a plant “Rindou (Gentiana scabra)”. Rindou has been loved by Japanese people from its beautiful and cute shape. Women in Heian era (794 ~ 1185) loved this flower. Also, roots of Rindou were used for effective medicines. In addition, its color of flower “purple” has been considered as noble color. From these reasons, Rindou has been sent for elder people to respect and celebrate longevity.

    Furthermore, this “Rindou” pattern makes a big circle when numerous Rindou patterns are linked. So, Rindou is often expressed in “輪胴”, which means circle.
    People wish upon “Rindou” pattern wonderful connections by links of things to things and person to person.


Types and difference of Kumiko wood by regions

Kumiko wood developed in each unique way around Japan.
Therefore, there are many names for Kumiko fixtures in Japan, “Kanuma Kumiko”, “Edo Kumiko”, or “Okawa Kumiko.”
Then, what are the differences of each Kumiko wood? Let us introduce differences and features of each Kumiko wood.

What are the differences of Kumiko wood by each region?

Differences of Kumiko wood by regions are “origination” and “history”.

Let us give an example of “Kanuma Kumiko.” In Edo era, joiners were gathered from all around Japan to Kanuma city of Tochigi city to build Nikko Toshogu. The technique of joiners is kept in Kanuma, and Kanuma becomes one of the leading producing areas of Kumiko wood.

In “Edo Kumiko” case, joiners in castle town of Edo (now Tokyo) established the brand of Edo Kumiko. In Edo era (1600 ~ 1867), upper class households such as Shogun or Bushi gathered in castle town. They were particular about their home and fixtures. Accordingly, joiners developed their skill and Kumiko wood.

Then, how about differences in design or usability of those? In fact, there is no big difference.
Kumiko wood has developed in all around Japan. In the process of developing, craftsmen and their technique were interchanged, like sometimes imitated, and other times produced original one. Joiners around Japan worked har together to develop skills of Kumiko wood. As a consequence, only differences of each region we can see are design sense, technique of processing, materials or their craftsmanship.

Now, as internet has developed, interchange of technique of Kumiko or traditional crafts become more vigorous. Not only in Japan, but also the world starts to place high value on Kumiko wood. We believe that new and more wonderful Kumiko will be born.

Kumiko fixture in reasonable price

We get following voices sometimes.
“Kumiko wood is out of my reach since it looks too expensive and rich for me.”
“Kumiko is a traditional craft, so, it must be expensive.”

Honestly, we understand that traditional crafts are not so cheap when you purchase them unlike industrial goods sold in super markets.
However, this is the point, they are not so cheap “when you purchase.” Please take “long time” into account. Period of use, times of use, sufficiency you get while you use, unique taste as you use.
Purchase of traditional crafts is not “short-time consumption” like payment for commercial goods, but “long-period investment” for customers.
So, we believe it is profit for customers as a result.

In addition, Kumiko wood in our store are kept the cost down as handmade Kumiko kit. You can experience the procedures of craftsmen by yourself.
With this Kumiko kit, you can feel the technique of craftsmen at your home and accomplishment at making Kumiko by yourself. We can recommend Kumiko kit with our confident.

Easy description paper for Kanuma Kumiko wood
Description paper for Kanuma Kumiko kit

Sine Kumiko fixture has been used for long time and designated as a “traditional craft,” it seems a little richer for us. In fact, Kumiko wood is always in our life from its establishment to now. Even you still feel that Kumiko is a rich item, we recommend you find the value by yourself.

3 types of Kumiko wood in Kumiko kit

We offer 3 types of Kumiko kit. All Kumiko wood are handmade by craftsmen in detail and finish.
You can make a masterpiece of Kumiko fixture with Kumiko kit filled with skills of craftsmen.
Japan Design Store makes our original set of Kumiko kit. Kumiko sets are recommended for gifts as well.

  1. Tokyo official Meister who exhibited his products in Paris
    Kumiko kit from Yamakawa Tategu

    Edogawa ward in Tokyo established Meister Promotion Co., Ltd. to promote traditional crafts or traditional skills. Artisans who join this promotion project are called “Edo-Core! Meister.”
    Hideo Yamakawa from Yamakawa Tategu is one of the Meisters. Kumiko wood by Mr. Yamakawa never stop developing every year.

    Mr. Yamakawa has been involved in Kumiko technique for more than 60 years since he was 16 years old. He was awarded Tokyo Skilled Technicians Prize and the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver rays in Conferment of Decorations. He adjusts thick and width of Kumiko wood parts in 1/1000mm, combines more than 200 patterns of Kumiko, and produces wonderful works. Even after he won several awards, he continues to create new products with collaboration of Joshibi University of Art and Design to polish his technique with modern sense.

    One of the new challenges by Yamakawa Tategu is this Kumiko kit.
    Now, we can see various Kumiko coasters around Japan. In fact, Kumiko coaster was invented by Mr. Yamakawa about 20 years ago. He produced Kumiko coaster to broad Kumiko in the world. Now, it is well known generously.
    Kumiko wood requires more elaborate technique for smaller size works. Therefore, Kumiko coaster is filled with superb skills of Kumiko fixture. In Kumiko kit by Yamakawa Tategu, ordinary person can assemble all pieces neatly. Notches and width are well-calculated so that Kumiko coaster is durable no matter how many times we use.

    Another feature of Kumiko kit is its stylish package.
    Small package like an envelope is convenient when you send Kumiko wood for someone. When you send a lot of Kumiko kit for friends, you can pack a lot of package in a small bag. It is a perfect and smart gift!

    Yamakawa Tategu offers 2 design of Kumiko kit, “Asanoha” and “Rindou.” Size of wooden coaster is about 9cm (about 3.5 inches) in diameter.
    In addition to use as drink coaster, Kumiko wooden coaster would be stylish home decor. When you serve drink for your guests, please serve Kumiko coaster and say “I made this!”

    Japan Design Store original set

    Japan Design Store makes set of 4, 5, and 6 kits. Also, we have assorted set of “Asanoha” and “Rindou”. If you would like to enjoy 2 design, we recommend this assorted set.


  2. Touch the skill used in Nikko Toshogu
    Kumiko kit of Kanuma Kumiko

    [To the customer]
    This product is no longer sold.

    Kanuma Kumiko is a Kumiko work in Kanuma city of Tochigi prefecture. In Edo era, joiners gathered in this place to build Nikko Toshogu, and that was the beginning of Kanuma Kumiko.

    At “Hoshino Resort KAI Nikko” which is one of the highest-class Japanese hotels, there is a room of Kanuma Kumiko as a highest rank room. As we can see, the technique of Kanuma Kumiko has got great reputations. You can touch the technique of craftsmen with the Kumiko kit of Kanuma Kumiko.

    Kumiko wood of Kanuma Kumiko

    In fact, this Kumiko kit is used in “Hoshino Resort KAI Nikko” as an amenity for guests. Now, Kanuma Kumiko entertains worldwide guests visit Nikko.
    You can feel the elegance of Kanuma Kumiko with this handmade kit.

    Size of Kanuma Kumiko wood is a little bigger than that of Yamakawa Tategu, about 14cm (5.5 inches). It is good size for trivet of teapot or pot.
    With Kumiko coasters of Yamakawa Tategu, you can have an elegant teatime.

    Comparison of Kumiko kits from Kanuma Kumiko and Yamakawa Tategu

    In addition, Kanuma Kumiko kit has additional parts to enjoy 2 kinds of patterns “Asanoha” and “Goma.”
    Parts for Goma pattern can be used independently. We recommend it as chopstick rest.


Not only Japanese-style room! Places for Kumiko wood

“Kumiko wood is only suit well for Japanese-style room.” This is a stereotype. In fact, Kumiko fixture is one of the traditional crafts that can be suitable for any kind of room.
Why? Because Kumiko fixture is “geometric pattern.”

Geometric pattern is a design developed from geometry and pattern born during calculation. Geometry developed in ancient Orient or Greece. Geometric pattern is derived form geometry that was necessary to measure familiar things such as river or nature. Since that time, geometric pattern has been used for design of products or house as beautiful and simplest pattern to express nature.

Kumiko wood has been designed to express beauty of motif in the limited space with most use of features of wood or light coming through the product. Consequently, geometric pattern has handed down to the present day as the representative of Kumiko pattern.

Before the development of Kumiko fixture, geometric pattern has been used for fixtures all around the world. Therefore, Kumiko wood with geometric pattern suits any kind of room.
In addition, Kumiko wood handmade from Kumiko kit can be used as kitchen utensils like wooden coasters or trivet.

Use Kumiko wood as drink coaster

Voices from customers using handmade Kumiko kit

Here, we would like to introduce a part of voices from our customers who purchase Kumiko kit. Let’s hear their voices!

  • As souvenir for my foreign friend

    I brought Kumiko kit as souvenir for my foreign friends. One has liked Japan, and another is not so. I gave Kumiko kits with telling the meaning of it, and both of them looked so happy with it. Of course, they were impressed with Kumiko’s elaborate workmanship. Since Kumiko kit are small, I brought some extra kits just in case, but I gave all of kits for my friends because they liked Kumiko so much. You have limited numbers of kit because it is handmade by craftsmen, but I would like to purchase Kumiko wood again.

  • Surprised at its solid work

    I imagined that it is kind of a toy as its name is “kit.” However, I was wrong. I was surprised at its beauty and solid work.

  • Amazing!

    I was so moved by its delicate beauty!

  • Use as drink coaster

    I use Kumiko wood coaster when I drink tea. I am entranced with beautiful Kumiko every time.

Kumiko wood as stylish gift with Japanese modern gift wrapping

Japan Design Store offers Japanese modern gift wrapping to make the attractiveness of Japanese crafts stand out.
From official to casual, please leave it to our gift staff! Easy wrapping with Japanese paper has been popular one.
Also, Ume Mizuhiki option has been popular especially for gifts for women. Please use our gift wrapping service for your important presents.

Caring tips

  • * Please do not soak Kumiko wood coaster into water.
  • * Please do not give strong impact against Kumiko wood.
  • * Please note that Kumiko kit will end when all the stock has been sold.

Personalize gift service

For the bulk order more than 20 items, we can personalize your items with the name of your company, school, or with logomarks. If you plan to order corporate gifts or keepsake gifts, please contact us from “Contact us.”
* Personalize gift needs service fee. The fee depends on items.
* Personalize service is not available for some products. Please feel free to ask us.