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hinoki products pamphlets are ready!

160513-bartok-design-panphlet-outside

160513-bartok-design-panphlet-inside

Finally we gave birth to the first Bartok design pamphlet.
Since we sell mainly outside of japan and tru the internet, until now I always procrastinated but now I will be finally able to satisfy all the requests of friends wanting to present the Bartok design tubs and accessories to trade shows, friends and clients.
There are also several hotels catering to international clientele who asked me some presentation material in the past.

If you need some pamphlets or want to promote the Bartok design products (contact iacopo torrini for details) let us know!

We have been caught in the NET… (Server problems)

160512-koinobori

Dear japan lovers community:

As you might have noticed,

    our server was down on on 5/9 and 5/10 for about 20 hours.

If you contacted us by email but are not receiving an answer, please contact us again.
We have been caught in the NET…
Also, I noticed our japanese IP address has problems with some hotmail and gmail accounts.

If your messages are returned, please use the alternative address as below:
iax1213[at]gmail[dot]com

By the way, the image on the top are koi-nobori (flying carps). Did you know?
Every family displays (or used to…) this fish shaped flags in front of their house. One carp for each family member, starting from the father and mother on top and following with all the children in order of age.
The festival culminates on 5/5, a festivity dedicated to children.
The carp is a divine creature and brings good auspices to the kids as they may avoid obstacles and swim thru life in a cheerful way.
Of course the mild weather and blue skies of may are even more pleasant with these colorful ornaments which move together with the wind!

But … lets go back to work now.
For all of you who missed us (I received 3 messages on facebook) sorry again and YES, I am looking forward to working with you and remain at your disposal for any question/problem.
All the Best!

Bartok design Japan Co.
Manager: Iacopo Torrini
—————————-
cell.: +81-90-8205-1200
iax1213[at]gmail[dot]com
—————————-

(click on the photo below to open the related blog entry)

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

IMGP8549

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

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)


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!

Accounting for “save & relocate japanese homes” activity

As promised, here below is the balance sheet for the activity of relocating japanese historic homes.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/191R52WReEc7nonFc3QVEQIuDnEvK64ipfQ4XMKdO9G8/edit?usp=sharing

I did not make the final decision but I think the new activity will be called Japanese Historic Homes and will have a dedicated homepage.

I was (wisely!) advised that if I want to produce concrete results, I should appeal to those interested in owning a japanese home rather than just hoping to find philanthropists with deep pockets and the mission of preserving for posterity as many buildings and environments of value as possible…

“I love your idea of establishing a network to try and preserve more heritage buildings. As far as naming goes I would shy away from “save-japan.org” as this sounds like it could be connected to Fukushima or some other existing cause.
I personally think you need to appeal to those folks who wish to OWN a heritage Japanese home rather than those that wish to SAVE a heritage home, as the former has the means (money) to buy.
Something like Japan-Historic-Homes.org may work. This may facilitate easy web searches. “Heritage” is arguably a more correct word to use but I think some folks may get this confused with modern homes which have a “Heritage style”. “Historic” (or
“Historical”) does sound a bit dry and perhaps over-important, but everyone who looks at the site name will conclude that you mean old, beautiful homes of significance. Anyway, this is just a first effort. I would be very happy to help you further in any way I can.”

So please be in touch and let me know your opinion as well!

All the Best//

iacopo

demolition work almost completed for the fujisawa teahouse

We are sad to see it go but are looking forward to seeing it rebuilt in full glory in Chiba prefecture next year.
It is a big shock for the building but imagine it is like a life saving surgery.
It is painful but all dismantling work was done gently to preserve all the parts.
I cannot imagine this jewel left prey of the bulldozers…

Please find the full photo reportage here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.987206494691338.1073741833.168006413278021&type=3

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