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Survey about yukata: RESULTS

We received 26 votes thru the survey form and one via email.

Here is a summary of the results:
160322-yukata-question-a

The Yoshiwara design won with ample advantage
160322-yukata-question-b

Yes, I think we will apply the logo on the bottom corner
160322-yukata-question-c

Almost a dual match between navy and red. I think we will provide the two options for you to choose!
160322-yukata-question-d

We will develop one or two patterns of yukata bathrobe and will keep remain open to any further comment or advice you may have! All the Best//

Getting ready for the next production of special reserve oil

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In the pictures above you can see about 800 Kg. of scraps of kiso hinoki wood.
I am going to distillate this material for the second harvest of special reserve hinoki essential oil.
To my knowledge, there is no maker producing oil from 250 (and over) year old hinoki wood.
As we could experiment in the first harvest (autumn 2014) the scent is superb, less forest like and more spicy than commercial grade hinoki essential oil (usually made with 70-90 year old lumber)

Before bottling the production, I want to offer a special deal to the heavy users and commercial users.
I will sell about half of the total in 100ml bottles at 12,000 JPY per bottle. or 10 bottles for 100,000 JPY.
Compare to the 4500JPY in case of the 10cc individual package bottle with drip cap!
It is almost 1/5 the price!

If interested please contact me at: japan@bartokdesign.com

karakami wall panels

Do you know the “washi” hand made paper from japan?
There are many qualities of translucent, ivory colored, naturally textured, wabisabi rice papers from japan.
Washi was used for writing, for everyday items, for shoji panels and even as a wall covering.
Very good.

Second question: do you know the paper used for fusuma doors?

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It is also based on washi paper but it is hand printed or hand painted and comes in a large single sheet roughly of the size of a tatami. Well, in japan there are many washi types with their proud history and characteristics.

But there is only one fusuma paper which is standing out from the rest: the fusuma paper for excellence is the karakami paper from Kyoto. There are several plain color bases made of  smooth “torinoko” washi on which the pattern is hand printed with woodenblocks. The color consists of natural pigments and inks on a pearl-like mica base. The effect is very stilish: it is perfect and elegant but has some irregularities peculiar of the hand printing.

We went to Kyoto for you to Maruni, one of the most famous maker of karakami paper and owner of a collection of thousands of original woodblocks.

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Here below is the detail of a woodblock. As you can see the image itself is hand carved. The block is moved with speed and precision to create large patterns.

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I was stroken at the modern beauty of a handprint made with use of black “urushi” lacquer. (see below)

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Of course if you visit Maruni you just feel like you want to buy everything… but there was an item that I felt particularly suitable for the japan-lovers allover the world: decorative panels made of pleated karakami.

The panels are quite small and can be easily shipped with EMS. They can hang on walls and used for decoration of small rooms. I thought it is ideal for a present and bought some to send to friends and family.

If you like them too, take a look in the bartok design shop.

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The panels are packaged in an elegant box, wrapped in rice paper and  accompanied with a certificate of guarantee.

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There is a short video to watch on Google Arts & Culture.

Hinoki tub for Jakarta

Here below are the specs of the tub:

material: natural Japanese Hinoki AB grade bathtub (quartersawn)
sizes: L1400mm x W900mm x H640mm (ext. dim.) 540mm (deep)
note: wooden dowels, natural oil finish
accessories:
– Hinoki wood “Sunoko” floor grate panel 900 x 700 x H55mm
– Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)
– Sawara wood large bucket(230D 120H)
– Hygrometer (complimentary)

fragrance bags

Have you ever been in a Kyoto kimono store or even a souvenir shop and be welcomed by a heavenly smell of incense?
Japanese culture does not make large use of perfumes (as Tom Cruise found out in the “last samurai” they prefer to wash the body rather than covering the body odor with deodorants…).
But there is an exception and a reason.

In a very humid climate, the insets proliferate and japanese have learned to protect themselves and the precious kimono robes with incense. The fragrances that japanese use are very pure and refined: not too strong but very particular and have surprising insect repellent properties.

fragrance-bag

If you do not know what I am talking about, this is for you.
I am committed to bring to the world the fragrances of traditional japan.
Try to imagine checking in into your hotel room in Dubai or returning to your weekend house after few weeks.
A subtle scent of cleanliness welcomes you and when you open the first drawer of the bedroom chest the aroma becomes more intense giving you a feeling of relaxation and recalling pleasant memories.

With the collaboration of a friend and his 91 year old grandmother (owner of an old manufacture of fragrances) i decided to bring to the world of japan-lovers a collection of exquisite aroma bags made with kimono fabric and containing a mix of selected aromas.

There are 2 sizes:
the “Fragrance Bag” (in 8 colors) suitable for a wardrobe of the entrance of a beauty salon.
-> link to the shop page:
KF0007_Fragrance-Bag-Montpellier-Green

The “Personal sacket” (in 13 colors) can be kept in the car, in the pocket or in a drawer.
-> link to the shop page:
KP0003_Personal-Sachets-Olive-Green


Here are some historical notes the maker is very proud of:

“In the times of the Asuka kingdom in ancient Japan, a piece of fragrant wood washed ashore on Awaji island.
This discovery let to the beginning of the history of use of fragrant incense wood in Japan.
During the Heian period, the Japanese nobility enjoyed the burning of these incense woods.
These fragrant woods were also used to scent the traditional twelve layered ceremonial kimono.

As well as creating an aura of pleasant perfume around the wearer of the Kimono, the fragrant
woods also acted as an insect repellent.
The Japanese believed that these fragrant incense woods were able to create a sense of peace and relaxation and even to have healing homeopathic properties.
The scent from these will provide you and those around you with all the benefits and good fortune long associated with these highly praised woods.”

Feel free to contact me for any question, or just comment below.

Survey for new product: YUKATA ROBES

For 13 years, almost weekly I have been posed the following question:
“do you also carry yukata robes?” (The type of casual kimono you use while in your room in the ryokan or after taking a plunge in a onsen).

In a world regurgitating with products…, I just though it was best for me to concentrate on one I was able to fully design and develop: custom made japanese ofuro.
I was honored to have been recognized and trusted by thousands as an ambassador of the japanese style bathing and I was comfortable in my niche.

But things are going to change.

While living in Japan, I have a privileged communication channel with a wide community of japan-lovers around the globe: this circumstance is not only bless but also a responsibility.

I feel more and more like I have a moral obligation to exit my comfort zone and provide more value to all of you who are trying to graft a slice of japan into your lives.
For this reason, I decided to start a new product line: wear.

Of course the first product of the list will be the long awaited yukata robes.
And I will need your help.
To provide the type of yukata you are looking for, I will need your opinion: the selection I will propose will be based on the survey below.
I will be grateful if you will share with me your thoughts!
It is a simple google survey consisting of 3 main and 3 sub-questions and takes from 30 to 60 seconds to complete.
The survey is anonymous but I will extract 3 of you and present a brand new yukata! (I will contact the winners thru the mailing list using their nicknames)

Please refer to the photos below the survey box. Thank you in advance for your time and precious advice!
NOTE: Feel free to repeat the survey to record the opinionof your family members as well!


(please fill in the survey in the box above)


Question a: which type of wear you may be interested in?

(indicate the level of interest for each option)

yukata bathrobe
No.01 tatekan

matsuri yukata
yukata matsuri

jinbei
jinbei

formal kimono
formal kimono


Question b: in case of yukata, which design do you like?

#01 Tatekan
No.01 tatekan

#02 kusari
No.02 kusari

#03 Yoshiwara
03-daiwa-yoshiwara

#04 Renga
04-renga

#05 Take
05-takegara

#06 Shippou
06-shippou

#07 Matsubishi
08-matsubishi

#08 Genjikou
11-genjikou

#09 Fuchidori Ogi
13huchidoriougi

#10 Orizuru
15-oriduru

#11 Hanakasumi
16-hanakasumi

#12 Matsuba Koma
19-matsuba-koma


Question c: Where do you prefer the bartokdesign brand logo?

on the chest

near the feet

Question d: which material/color you like for the obi belt?

Red/plain

Navy/plain

Yellow/knitted

Green/knitted

Brown/knitted

Stripes


(please fill in the survey in the box above)


Validity of the quotation

I am going to purchase an ofuro in 6 months from now. Will the quotation still be valid?
Please note that the quotation is valid 1 month.
Unless there are major market changes, our prices do not vary, although shipping charges may fluctuate according to oil and local currency exchange rate variations.
Let me know when you are ready to finalize the order and I will provide an updated invoice at that time.

sorry for the TYPO…

Dear subscribers to the Bartokdesign mailing list,

Sorry for the typo in the mail I sent you few hours ago.
Although I am using an automated system, I personally write the text to 1050 subscribers.
Receiving a personal mail … addressed to “Dear {!firstname_fix},” must have been a terrible experience.
I deeply apologize and hope you give me one more chance.

Yours sincerely,

Bartok design Japan Co.
Manager: Iacopo Torrini
—————————-
e-mail: japan@bartokdesign.com
tel: +81-78-262-6811
fax: +81-78-262-7151
cell.: +81-90-8205-1200
—————————-

Echizen lacquerware

Production area:

Sabae is a small city on the korean sea within the Fukui prefecture.
Amazing enough, the majority of the eyeglasses frames made in Japan is produced in this 60,000 people town.
Very roughly, if you look at a map of Japan you will see that Sabae is located north of the Biwako lake, almost in between Kyoto and Kanazawa (also known as small Kyoto.)

sabae

History:

I am not sure if this is the reason why Sabae is also one of the capitals of japanese Urushi Lacquerware, but the historic archives prove that in the 6th century emperor Keitai appointed skilled craftsmen from Sabae to repair broken crowns of the imperial family.
The craftsmen did a perfect job and presented a simple black lacquer bowl to the emperor.
The emperor was surprised at the sturdiness and beauty of the craft and adopted the Sabae craftsmen as the official supplier of the court. Since then the crafts produced in this area are known as Echizen Lacquer ware.
Sabae constantly developed the technique to bloom in the edo era with the Maki-e (Gold Lacquer) as the most famous Japanese laquerware production area.

urushi-tray

Shikki from Misako:

My friend Misako, originary from Sabae is a “lacquerware coordinator”. She selects shapes and the most suitable craftsman to produce the tableware and created a collection of all time classics for Bartok design.
Lacquerware is sturdy and lightweight. It is in-frangible and long lasting.
But there is one problem you should be aware of:
YES, items made of solid wood, carved on a spinning table are authentic and highly priced.
On the other hand, if brought to other countries which do not have the same high relative humidity peculiar of the japanese islands… the solid wood tableware is prone to crack, thus spoiling the invincible and immaculate lacquer coating. (sigh!)

Quality:

Do not make that face! Misako has a solution for us. The items she picked up are made with a base of wood paste (glue and wood chips) molded to obtain the required shape.

This bases are stable and cheaper than the solid items.
The bases are then hand painted with the best lacquer, without compromises.
To summarize: the SHIKKI (= lacquerware) items consist in two main handcrafts:
1) wood carving
2) lacquer layering

The items we are proposing have the following specifications:
1) molded base (no hand carving)
2) best quality lacquer layering

The Misako collection provides the best cost performance and an amazing flexibility.
Her items are smooth and gorgeous while being lightweight and durable.

Shapes, sizes and order made items:

She can make the items you are looking for in small series or single items: feel free to mail us at japan@bartokdesign.com

Lacquerware is great for a gift, is very practical (many items are dishwasher safe) and could be an amazing atmosphere maker for restaurants, parties and events. Of course it is perfect not just for japanese food: the top of the sophistication is to serve a shrimp salad or a swordfish carpaccio in a stunning japanese tableware.

Find our the standard items in the shop section and do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something different!

Best regards and … Bon apetit (itadakimasu!)

Find our the standard items in the shop section and do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something different!

cold plunge hinoki tub

As the title says, this tub will be used for a cold water plunge so it does not have an internal seat.

The tub was ordered thru a very collabotarive architecture office and we had a positive and efficient exchange of information back and forth.
This is something we have to thank the technology for…
On the other hand, the tub itself is 100% analogic.
Even though for box type tubs we can build precisely (tolerance of +/-1mm) a round tub of this size may have a tolerance of +/-10mm!

There is a saying that round tubs do not close if they are built by calculation.
A round tub is beautiful (and functional) only if it is built with the heart!

Here below are the specs of the tub:

material: natural Japanese Hinoki cypress AB grade bathtub (quartersawn)
sizes: Dia 1220mm x H958mm (external dimensions) 838mm(deep)
details: stainless steel bands
accessories:
– Hinoki wood step stool W500mm x D400mm x H400mm
– Complimentary hygrometer

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