News

abenomics…

As you know, the new japanese Prime Minister, entered in charge last december has enacted agressive financial and fiscal measures with the purpose of pumping some fresh blood in the ailing japanese economy.
One of the first targets was the strong yen, a formidable obstacle to the japanese exports for the past 4-5 years. With an increase in public spending and monetary easing, the target was reached, maybe even too abruptly.
This alone does not change the outlook of japanese economy but is an element of hope and of course a concrete boost for exporters such as Bartok design Japan.
We are glad that our clients can buy our products with a 30-35% discount!

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But there is a downside.
Like putting fire to a pile of paper, the response to a massive economic stimulus is immediate, the flames are high and the temperature is rising. But how long is it going to last? In any case, for the time being construction materials costs are rising rapidly. Compared to 6 months ago steel is +15%, concrete is 7%up and concrete forms are up over 20% up. Wood for carpentry increased some 5% but selected and rare wood (like hinoki) is rising more rapidly and is not rare to stumble into no-common-sense requests.
Public spending tends to boost cost of high grade materials and hinoki is used in historical building renovations, hot springs, conference centers, hotels etc.
We have our stock but will have to face the situation of more costly material sooner or later.
From the mid of june, we will have to apply a cost increase of about 10% and our quotation will have a strict 15 days validity.
I am addressing this notice especially to those who requested a quotation and are now evaluating the option of using one of our baths,
Sorry, our quotations until 2013/5/31 have a 1 month validity and cannot be extended further. No exception. Thank you in advance for your kind understanding.
Even our costs are increasing, the weak yen will still make our products more accessible and this is good news for all the japanese bath lovers in the world…!
All the Best//
iacopo torrini

perfect timing to buy an ofuro

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In case you did not notice it, the dollar and euro are gaining value over the yen.
Today, one dollar buys you almost 91 yen, it was 78 yen/dollar six months ago.
In few words, if you purchase a japanese bathtub now you can save about 20% compared to the price you would have payed in summer 2012.
Is the yen weakness going to last? We do not know, anyway the boost of exports and the planned increase of the sales tax (from 5% to 8% in 2014 and 10% in 2015) create the premises for demand increase which can boost the economy and generate a flow of capitals towards the japanese stock market.

Is the yen going back to 78 yen per dollar? Again nobody can say it, but it is likely that it is going to stabilize to a medial value for the months to come.
If you are planning to buy an ofuro, this may be the chance you were waiting for…!

happy new year!

From the land of the rising sun, we could see the beginning of 2013 before most of the other countries. And, despite the uncertainty of this period, we had the clear impression that it will be a DELICIOUS new year!

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We would like to participate our warmest wishes to all our japan loving friends all over the world!

hinoki ofuro in the fuji TV morning news

a beautiful japanese ofuro. Who`s taking a bath here?
and, what is the cameraman doing with my hinoki bathtubs … ?

Last week I was interviewed for fuji television, the media coverage of the “new wave of the japanese bathing culture” is rising … and there I am in the spotlight again :) !

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they filmed in high vision the grain of our beautiful kiso valley hinoki.
Ikeda san was not so happy about entereing in the ofuro together…
But the hinoki fragrance made him relax almost instantly

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The VTR will be broadcasted on 4/25 in the morning news on Fuji television (national programming) and will also contain an interview with a client from L.A.
I will keep you posted!

Ofuro featured on japanese TV!

Here are some strips from the program broadcasted last month on the japanese TV.

The carpenters father and son work on the corner joint by creating a precise tongue and groove

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the convex part is hammered for a precise fit. Once the wood is wet the two planks of wood hug eachother thus creating a perfectly watertight joint

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the bottom inner perimeter is completed with the insertion of a pad made of hinoki bark which has sealant and bactericidal properties.

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most of our tubs are “copper bottomed” for optimal performance and durability. Here is our client from California enjoying the bathing ritual…

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and here are other testimonials from the 17 countries wordwide where we have references.
Lastly, a reference from Rome-Italy, in an apartment just meters away from the Colosseum.

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Our carpenter is so happy to see that his creations are appreciated by people living so far away…!

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Please look here for an extract of the video:

waiting for the show

Yes, today is the day. The primetime TV program featuring two of our ofuros used abroad will be on air tonight. But… WAIT A MINUTE!…
I was so surprised to see this full color advertisment on the morning paper!!
“CAUTION THIS IS CALIFORNIA”

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Bartok design ofuro featured on japanese TV program

Channel 19, a major TV broadcasting company in japan contacted with reference to our hinoki bathtubs…!
They run a very popular program: “Wafū Sōhonke” which would translate “total Japanese traditional house”. They make a show every week (with rebroadcasting on saturdays) about japanese traditional crafts. -> -> http://www.tv-osaka.co.jp/ip4/wafu/

They shoot 2 locations where our tubs are installed, in Italy and California.
I am also looking forward to see it and hear the clients`s comments !!

The program will be aired on 2/16, see more details here below:


Show Title:Wafu Souhonke – Produced by TV Osaka/Aired Nationwide by TV Tokyo
On air Every Thursday Night 9:00PM~

Aired Date: February 16th, 2012 (Thursday) 9:00PM 1.5hour Special
Cast: Takeo Chii, Hisako Manda, Takahiro Azuma and more
Show Summary) Through this show, we are reporting the “Heart of Japan” to our audience.
We want to reconsider “Japanese Culture” that we think we know, but we actually might not.

Project Title: Made in Japan Products That Are Found in the World-Part 2

Project Summary:
The skills and quality in goods created in Japan are kept by the Japanese craftsman and those are not only recognized in Japan but also in the world. Japanese products are utilized in unexpected places in the world. This project is a part 2 of a search of those unknown “Made in Japan” goods in the world.

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