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asnaro tub and fusuma paper for india

This time we had the pleasure to deal with an indian gentlemen, japan-lover and japanese sword collector.
This shipment consisted in an Asnaro wood tub AB grade L1370mm x W840mm x H660mm.
We supplied the drain fitting: the client will drill a hole and mount it on site to match exact site conditions.
The tub has a copper apron, wood dowels and the Bartok design Iron brand at front side top-right
Bathroom accessories include Asnaro large bucket, Asnaro ladle with handle and Asnaro-Hiba Oil.

We also supplied a copper rainchain adjusting the length from 2700mm to 3250mm (option).
Then the client choose some fusuma paper designs.
(see the list af all designs in the left side column menu of the Shitoya site. Names are in japanese so you will have to click all one by one and choose your favourite… )
We purchased it and shipped together, (charging a commission for the order, local shipping and glue/tools).

It is really exciting to work side by side with our clients thousands of miles away!

Adopt a thatched roof kominka (urgent…)

This cutie will be torn down in October.
See more photos from this link:
Foot print (at wall centerline) is about 10m x 9.7m. Add 1m all around for projected roof line.
1 Story. Over 100 years old.
Located in Miyazu city, near the seashore. The straw roof is covered with sheet metal, anyway as you can see from the interior pics, the foundation (on isolated tsukaishi) the large beams, the smoked bamboo covering the inside part of the roof, the bent beams inside the roof structure are perfectly healthy.

Cost of dismantling (parts numbering etc.) about 30,000 USD.
Timber frame is all made with nuki-construction. Basically not a single metal nail. You pull out some wedges and it can be neatly dismantled without damage for the parts.

Cost of transportation: I guess one 40 ft container, considering that you will have to provide for new tatami, new shoji and fusuma etc.
The windows are cheap aluminum frame sashes and should be replaced.
It would be wonderful if you could remake the straw locally – if at all possible.
The walls are tsuchi-kabe (adobe with bamboo framing) and should also be done on site.
Or you can do timber-frame walls if you are not a purist and finish the external walls with plaster or wood slats.

Basically, you can have the structure for 40,000 USD (roughly, including transportation.)
Depending on the construction costs in your area you will need to add 100,000 USD to build and finish it.

Let me know if interested and I can obtain more precise quotations.
Here below, is a proposal considering the creation of a “doma” concrete or stone floor for an open kitchen area and rebuilding the wet areas with a hinoki bathtub (YUIP!)

a house for the arts – idea competition

Finally, my prayers seem to have reached some sensible ears up in Heaven…!

An enlightened owner inherited a high grade and extremely well preserved house in Wakayama. The house is a 1,400㎡ (mostly 1 story, 2 rooms on the upper floor) timber frame house on a 3,100㎡ lot.

K-house is relatively new (1940) but being pre-war, it belongs to a sensibility, culture of material and aesthetic sense that unfortunately is now lost and unknown to post war architecture.

I am not being nostalgic: it is an evaluation based on the virtue of the design elements: knowledgeable but with a scent of fantasy.
If you look at the photos below (↓) you will agree that the sukiya-zukuri style in the Taisho and early Showa period is probably the highest point reached by Japanese architecture. The materials are selected with respect for their features. There is wit and irony. Nature mingles with architecture and even penetrates it as branches become railings and full moons become windows.


SpaFusion in Bologna opening

Finally here are the photos of the SpaFusion Palazzo Varignana hotel near Bologna (Italy) which opened on june 16th after 2 months of “soft opening.”

Photo credits: SPA Concept by – SPA Construction by

VARSANASPA asnaro bathtub, spout and bathroom accessories by Bartokdesign. see the specs here:

Foto SpaFusion Varignana 10
hinoki bathtub, wall mounted spout by Bartokdesign. see the specs here:

Foto SpaFusion Varignana 3
vestibule with naguri-bori flooring and tatami room in the background (used for massage therapy)
Foto SpaFusion Varignana 4

We also supplied the shoji doors, 

tatami and fusuma doors with pine tree and crane decoration on silk.


(sorry, the beauty relaxing in the aromatic water is not included…)

japanese room for italian hotel (3)

We also supplied other construction materials for a tatami room in the spa which is mainly going to be used for massage therapy.

This is the “naguribori” floor have you ever seen it? It creates a great atmosphere and is also very pleasant to step on with bare feet. The design comes from the ancient technique of roughing out wood planks using a mattok like tool to make the planks flat and even.


If needed the floor was then smoothed out with a had plane. But of course, in this case, we chose it for its texture.

The planks are already processed with a tongue and groove matching joint for easy assembly.


We also supplied tatami finished with natural “igusa” straw. Enjoy the sweet aroma of tatami and their slow discolouration from green to light tobacco color. The inside of the tatami is not the traditional thickly packed straw but rather a sandwich of plywood and styrofoam. This is not the most authentic tatami construction but is now used in 95% of tatami rooms in Japan, including temples and heritage buildings. It does not sag over time and prevents the insurgence of mould and insects.


Here is a layout of the tatami room. There is a “correct way” for any layout, so please consult with us by providing the internal dimensions of the room (width x depth) we will make the calculations as the best size for the individual mats.

and here is a selection of the edge fabric (eri). If it was you which color would you have picked?


Finally, we also supplied the fabric to finish the closet doors. We can also supply the finished “fusuma” doors, but in this case, the client decided that they would have more flexibility to make the doors on site. I also provided some recessed handles so they can pick up the design that best matches the other elements of the room. Once the doors are coated with the silk fabric I am sure you will feel like you are in a luxurious ryokan in Kyoto!

Of course I will provide support thru email/skype for a proper choice of materials and detailing.


Fill out the form below to reach us

    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?

    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.


    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.


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


    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.


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





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

    virtual 3D showroom

    We know that rather than the cold buttons of the mouse, you prefer the delicate touch of the cherry blossoms falling on your hair.
    Anyway, if you are far from japan and missing its onsen, its cozy ryokan with mystical stone gardens shining with the moonlight, we hope you will enjoy this 3D walkthru simulation.
    If you like it, write a comment!

    You can actually walk inside this virtual japanese room (and take a relaxing bath in our ofuro, of course!)
    1) You need to use Internet Explorer (sorry, does not work for other browsers)
    2) Download the Power sketch viewer plugin from “Magic Hour Co.”. Click the Icon.
    3) Access the 3D file. virtual-showroom3d.php


    You can jump to the saved views with the buttons in the control bar or just press the mouse left button and slowly glide thru the garden…
    (Yes, there is also a toilet behind the fusuma doors in case you cannot contain your surprise…)
    I hope this can be a hint if you are considering a japanese atmosphere for your home extension.

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