Umezawa is a small woodworking business local to Mie Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. Located in between Japan’s most famous timber-producing areas like Gifu and Nara prefectures, Umezawa is situated in an advantageous location for bringing customers high-quality wooden goods. They handpick the most premium Japanese woods like hinoki, Aomori hiba, and ginko to bring the finest woodwork to customers.
Founded in 1924 by Narajiro Umezawa, the company started out by producing wooden buttons for military uniforms during the Pacific war, but during the post-war reconstruction period, they began crafting other kinds of wooden items like dining tables and washboards. Since then, they have expanded their woodworking production even more and produce many different wooden items like cutting boards, oke bowls, drop lids, and more.
Umezawa strives to keep the woodworking industry and the veteran techniques they have used for decades alive. Even though many other similar companies have switched to using automated machines to craft their products, Umezawa believes that by emphasizing “beauty created by human hands” their customers can truly love and appreciate all of their items for years to come.
Wood processing begins with knowing about the specific kinds of woods and how to use them best. Umezawa follows this motto when handcrafting all of their products from natural Japanese woods.
In addition to selecting tree species suitable for each product, even a single log can have its own properties and differences from another. Knowing everything about each type of wood, Umezawa can identify and select pieces of wood that are ideally suited for their products by making use of their best characteristics.