Region: Akita Prefecture
Shibata Yoshinobu Shoten was founded in 1966 by Yoshinobu Shibata, a skilled craftsman specializing in “magewappa” – a traditional bentwood craft originated in Odate, Akita Prefecture. Magewappa products are crafted using carefully selected, centuries-old Akita cedar trees known for their exceptional quality. The logs are dried for several years and undergo a series of processes, including boiling, bending, drying, gluing, stitching, and finishing to achieve the final exquisite product.
The main feature of Odate bentwood is the captivating grain pattern of the Akita cedar, which not only adds to its visual appeal but also allows it to naturally absorb moisture, preserving the freshness of the food it holds. Not only does the natural cedar possess antibacterial properties, but the uncoated wood also exudes a subtle wood scent that complements dishes.
An additional aspect that adds to the beauty of magewappa craftsmanship is the delicate cherry bark stitching. Once the wooden pieces have been shaped and dried, glue is applied to the joint ends and clamped for several hours. Subsequently, fastening holes are carved and stitched together using wild cherry bark. The intricate stitching process not only ensures the durability of the products but also showcases the artisan’s unique style and individuality.