We produce fittings (Fusuma) and interior products using traditional Japanese woodworking and paper crafting techniques. We also handle extremely rare Japanese paper and pulls.
Karakami is "paper" brought from China (Tang Dynasty) by the Japanese envoys to China (630 to 894 A.D.). After the envoys were abolished, Japanese Karakami began to be produced domestically. Japanese Karakami was distributed in the order of the state, aristocrats, warriors, tea masters, and merchants, and developed and spread over a period of approximately 1,000 years. Although it was introduced from China, it has developed uniquely in Japan since it became a domestic product, and continues to this day.
When the paper manufacturing method was introduced to Japan (around the 6th to 7th century), the government of the time sponsored Buddhist missionary activities. It increased the demand for paper for sutra copying. Furthermore, the government used paper to maintain family registers. In the Heian period (8th century), a unique Japanese paper manufacturing method was born. With the rise of women writers such as Murasaki Shikibu, Japanese Karakami became a flexible and strong paper different from any other paper in the world. Japanese Karakami was used not only for writing, but also for interior fittings such as folding screens, Fusuma (sliding doors), pasted walls, and Shoji (paper screen). Harima Industrial is a manufacturer of "Fusuma (sliding doors covered with Japanese paper)".
The most attractive feature of Japanese Karakami is its design (pattern and decoration) that reflects the user's sense of lifestyle and social standing. This is called "Konomi."
Since the Imperial Court was located in Kyoto, Japanese culture was nurtured mainly by court nobles who served the Emperor. The court nobles favored patterns that corresponded to their family status, tradition, and rank (Yusoku pattern). The idea of reflecting social status and lifestyle in design (Konomi) spread to temples and shrines, Samurai families, tea masters, and merchants. The designs created by each of these groups have been handed down to the present day as traditional Japanese patterns. You can enjoy the splendid designs that are uniquely Japanese, both traditional and orthodox.
In the Edo period (17th century), demand for Karakami exploded. It was used everywhere: in castles and residences of feudal lords, in shrines and Buddhist temples, in the residences and tenements of townspeople and craftsmen, and as sliding doors in various types of stores. Craftsmen from Kyoto, the birthplace of Japanese Karakami, migrated to Edo (present-day Tokyo) to meet this increased demand.
Here, the name "Edo Karakami" was born. Edo Karakami is characterized by three decorative techniques: Karakami-shi, Sarasa-shi, and Sunago-shi. The variety of "Edo Karakami" patterns, numbering in the thousands or even in the tens of thousands, developed a world known as "Kyoho Sengata".The world of Edo Karakami is not a return to the good old days of design but is on the cutting edge of history. We hope you will enjoy it.
Karakami patterns and decorations vary depending on the lifestyle and social status of the people who use it, which is called "Konomi".
Kuge Konomi (Court Nobles)
Kuge (court nobles who served the imperial court headed by the emperor) were the first to use Karakami for Fusuma sliding doors. They favored Yusoku patterns (patterns that corresponded to family rank, tradition, and position). The designs tended to combine floral and geometric patterns.
Jisya Konomi (Temples and Shrines)
Temples were consumers of Karakami along with court nobles. Temples were consumers of Karakami along with court nobles.
Because temples were spacious, large patterns were favored. A typical pattern was "cloud". Temples were deeply connected with the imperial court and court nobles, and many Yusoku patterns were also used.
Buke Konomi (Samurai Families)
The Samurai families that came to power after the 12th century tended to imitate the culture that had long been fostered by the court nobles. They were particular about patterns that symbolized status and authority. Therefore, most of Buke Konomi were geometric patterns and Yusoku patterns. They are characterized by rigid designs.
Chakata Konomi (Tea Masters)
The tea masters pursued a uniquely Japanese artistic beauty called "Wabi (beauty within simplicity)," which extended to their taste for architecture and Karakami patterns. Botanical designs were favored, especially paulownia (paulownia wood). These sophisticated designs symbolize good old Japanese culture and lifestyle.
Machiya Konomi (General Public)
In the 17th century, Karakami spread to the general public and developed explosively. The townspeople preferred small patterns that symbolized a spirit of weakness, modesty, and resilience. This was also shared by the lower-class Samurai.
Products made with traditional Japanese wood and paper crafting techniques
Fusuma (Japanese Sliding Door)
These are traditional Japanese fittings. We can be commissioned from manufacturing to installation. Full and semi-custom makes are available. Please contact us for details on the design, etc.
Fusuma Panels (Art Panels)
These art panels are produced using the same wood and paper crafting techniques as Fusuma sliding doors. Full and semi-custom makes are available. Please contact us for more details.
Framed Art Panels
Fusuma panels are framed.
Full and semi-custom mades are available. Please contact us for details on the design, etc.
These are cabinets with sliding doors made with Fusuma. Full and semi-custom mades are available. Please contact us for details on the design, etc.
These partitions are manufactured using the same wood and paper crafting techniques as Fusuma sliding doors. These are processed as folding doors. Full and semi-custom mades are available. Please contact us for details on the design, etc.
Interior light（Craft Kit）
Why don't you make Karakami interior lights to decorate your table? Anyone can easily make one.
Frame + Door
We will manufacture the frame and door as a set. Full customization of size and design is possible.
Our Philosophy of Product Development
Fusuma, a traditional Japanese fixture, appeared in the Heian period (794 to 1192 A.D.) and has a history of more than 1,000 years. They are not only practical partitions, but also serve as works of art that decorate a room, and a rich variety of designs has been nurtured. In particular, the pictures and patterns on the Fusuma paper express the spirit of the Japanese people, who cherish the changing seasons, harmony with nature, and the spirit of hospitality. The patterns that have been loved by people for a long time are refined, and even to our modern eyes, we can feel the novelty and high design quality.
In order to convey this excellence to people overseas, we decided to produce art panels, cabinets, and lighting fixtures which fit into different living environments (without a frame to install Fusuma) while using the same materials and techniques for Fusuma. We use Japanese cedar wood and cover it with "Karakami" and other special Fusuma paper. You can enjoy traditional Japanese techniques, culture, and scenery with these products.
The vertical and horizontal bars are each made with concavities called "Kude" (left picture), and the concavities of the vertical and horizontal bars are combined with each other in an uneven shape and formed as shown in the above figure (center picture). This technique has long been used in Fusuma (sliding doors), Shoji screens, and other fittings and is often employed as a design element in Ranma (transoms). It requires a long time and experience to master. Kumiko is a traditional Japanese woodworking technique.
This is a technique of stretching Japanese paper over a core (center picture) formed by Kumiko. The method of applying glue only to the four sides of the Washi is called "Ukasebari.」 Washi is highly hydrophilic, and its fibers swell when soaked in water. When the paper is in this swollen state, the four sides of the paper are glued. Once the water evaporates (dries), the paper, which swelled up after absorbing the water, shrinks to return to its original shape. At this time, the four sides of the paper are glued so that the paper is pulled taut. Ukasebari is a traditional Japanese paper crafting technique.
We aim to "create new value" through cooperation that transcends national and cultural boundaries.
"Karakami" was introduced from China and took root and blossomed as a uniquely Japanese culture over a long period of time.
We would like to bring "Japanese Karakami" into contact with diverse cultures around the world and discover new possibilities for "Karakami." We would be more than happy if our "Karakami" and "the art of making goods using Karakami" could have a positive impact on your life and business.
－ What We Can Do
Production, sales, installation of Japanese traditional fittings; FUSUMA, SHOJI
Production, sales, and installation of Japanese paper interior goods
Sales of WASHI paper, pulls, and rims
Japanese-style room related work in general
Feel free to contact us at any time.