Much like everything else in Japan, Japanese furniture also has a unique aesthetic. Their design is based heavily on their culture. However, furniture makers in Japan are constantly evolving their styles. As a result, modern-day Japanese furniture has come a long way from tatami mats and knee-high tables. These are some famous Japanese furniture brands in the market today.
- Hida Sangyo
- Miyazaki Chair Factory
- Truck Furniture
- Takumi Kohgei
Homes in Japan are traditionally sparse. Also, every single piece of furniture has a specific purpose and place. Every object of decor is simple and elegant, while also being functional. This is because the Japanese believe in the concept of ma, or negative space. Furniture is also designed around the concept of balance, harmony, and simplicity. For instance, they use soft earth tones, rounded corners, and flowing patterns.
Karimoku Furniture Inc. is a leading Japanese wooden furniture manufacturer founded in 1940. Starting as lumber dealers, they soon started producing high-quality wooden furniture with locally sourced wood. After that, they set up their own timber mills in Hokkaido and Akita. Their design philosophy emphasizes simple elegance using local materials. Skilled craftsmen then mold these materials into beautiful furniture.
Karimoku believes in honoring the materials used in its products. Thus, they make their furniture with great care and precision. Their designs are simple, yet modern. Also, the wood used to make furniture isn’t tampered with, letting it retain its natural beauty. As a result, with natural materials and soft, earthy tones, their furniture sings in quiet elegance. Karimoku furniture is also sleek and minimalistic by design, emphasizing open spaces.
However, the most impressive thing about Karimoku furniture is its large network of branch companies. From the procurement of materials to manufacturing to sales and then after-sales service is handled by its group of companies. It is then no wonder that Karimoku is the largest wooden furniture company in Japan today.
- Website: https://www.karimoku.com/
- Recommended Product: Karimoku WT3612BEK Sofa 2 Seater Black Width 63.1 inches (162 cm) Flat Woven Upholstery
Ariake was founded by Legnatec and Hirata Chair. These were two factories from the furniture-producing town of Morodomi, Saga prefecture. However, today it is a collective of some of the most skilled Japanese craftsmen. They also collaborate with international designers from all around the world. Ariake brings you furniture inspired by Japanese culture and also blending urban design contexts.
Ariake has a large collection of furniture made with gorgeous local materials such as oak, ash, hinoki, cedar, and paper cord. Their pieces also have unique finishes such as Sumi and indigo dye. Every single piece of Ariake furniture is crafted in Morodomi and then shipped out all over Japan. Their products include the works of notable designers such as Keiji Ashizawa, Anderssen & Voll, Shin Azumi, and Gabriel Tan.
CondeHouse is a multinational furniture maker founded in 1968 in the timber manufacturing region of Asahikawa, Hokkaido. Today, they have designer stores not just in Japan but all over the world. The company also believes that the forests of Hokkaido are its origin and identity. As a result, CondeHouse furniture primarily uses wood from its home region of Hokkaido.
They use cutting-edge processing tools as well as elaborate handcrafting to create unique and eye-catching designs with a Japanese flair. Above all, the craftsmanship of CondeHouse shares Japanese esthetics with the world. For instance, their gentle shapes, precise functions, and soft, muted colors reflect the soul of Japan. As a result, the brand is extremely popular in the global market. After all, Japanese traditions of minimalism and harmony are growing ever popular.
Hida Sangyo Co., Ltd. is a well-established furniture manufacturer founded in 1920. Above all, the company has over a century of rich history and tradition of woodwork behind them. As a result, Hida is now an industry leader in the wooden furniture market. For instance, its range of wooden chairs influenced by the craftsmanship of the Hida and Takayama regions is their bestseller.
Hida furniture follows a five-point design philosophy which their craftsmanship reflects. It includes aspects such as coexistence with nature, making the most of tradition, and making products by Japanese hands. Its design is also influenced by the contemporary architectural styles of Todai-ji and Horyuji. In other words, Hida furniture is the perfect balance of modern technology as well as deep, cultural traditions.
- Website: https://www.hidanokagu.jp/english/furniture/furniture.html
- Recommended Product: Sign Series Living Table (Oak x Walnut)
Muji, or Mujirushi Ryohin, is a Japanese retail company founded in 1980. They are also one of the biggest retailers in the market today and sell a wide variety of products. Their range of products includes furniture, stationery, and also home appliances. Muji is also famous for being a “no-brand quality goods” company. Usually, their products don’t carry the brand name or brand logo. However, they rely on the quality and craftsmanship of their products to sell.
Muji products are born from a rational manufacturing process and are not just succinct but also minimalist. They also emphasize empty or negative space, as per traditional Japanese beliefs.
Miyazaki Chair Factory
Miyazaki Chair Factory is a Japanese furniture maker founded in 1969, focusing mainly on wooden chairs. Miyazaki chairs are solid and robust. They also have unique designs and use premium materials. Thus, through careful technique and passionate design, Miyazaki has become a household name in Japan.
Also noteworthy is their unique made-to-order system that ensures freshly made chairs are shipped out with every order. Similarly, their production motto is necessary materials at the necessary time in necessary volumes. They keep six to eight kinds of wooden materials such as oak, maple, walnut, etc. in their factory. These materials are then cut, dried, and stored until a new order comes in.
Nissin Furniture Crafters Co., Ltd. was founded in 1946 in the Hida Takayama region of the Gifu prefecture. Above all, the entire region is well known for a thousand years of woodworking tradition. However, Nissin furniture combines the essence of Scandinavian design with traditional Japanese craftsmanship. This results in a product that is not only practical and accessible but also robust and durable.
Nissin aims to deliver high-quality furniture in both modern and traditional styles, so customers have complete control over their living spaces. They use premium materials that are then molded into living, breathing furniture by the hands of expert craftsmen. Therefore, their unique style immediately brightens up any living space, making it popular among Japanese families.
Truck Furniture was founded in 1997 by Tokuhiko Kise and Hiromi Karatsu. The idea behind the company was for the two to be able to make furniture that appealed to them, rather than popular trends. As a result, Truck furniture is bold and unconventional. It is different from anything else you will see in the market. However, this does not mean that their designs are impractical or in any way weird.
Truck furniture pieces are beautiful, elegant, and also highly functional. Also, they make their products that accentuate the natural beauty of the materials used. For instance, the wood, leather, or metals used in their furniture pieces undergo minimal treatment, allowing their raw beauty to shine. They also believe in the importance of the environment that people see their furniture in. Thus, they only sell furniture at their own store in Osaka, and nowhere else.
Maruni Wood Industry was founded in 1928, after which it has slowly become one of the leading brands in the Japanese furniture market. They are responsible for establishing the technique of bentwood crafting, which was considered extremely difficult at the time. They are also pioneers in the field, using notable techniques such as artificial wood drying.
Maruni designs are also heavily inspired by Western furniture, however, they still hold traditional Japanese values dear. Their aim is to bring the beauty of Western furniture to Japan, while still retaining their core Japanese values and aesthetics.
Japan has a tradition for a unique aesthetic combined with innovation and technology. Thus, the minimalistic designs from Japanese craftsmanship are elegant, yet functional. If you liked reading about the furniture brands, you might also like this specially curated list of the top refrigerator brands in Japan.