We’ve heard of the genius “technology” used in ancient times to build towering monuments with nothing more than primitive tools like stones and ropes. The Egyptian pyramids of old is a great example.
Back in the far east, Japan had plenty to offer the ancient world as well when it came to resourceful inventions and crafts. Traditional Japanese Carpenters built houses, temples, and castles, without the use of nails, screws, or bolts.
In a documentary interviewing one of the few remaining practitioners of this seemingly lost art of carpentry, an old Japanese master craftsman exclaims “No bolts, no nails. It lasts longer!”. Proudly claiming its effectiveness that no one would be able to argue against its success in the form of several majestic towering temples all over Japan still standing to this day.
After being subjected to harsh weather and clashes of changes in civilizations for well over a thousand years. But with the bold statement comes a clear understanding that the success to this art isn’t because they designed it to withstand “against” nature, instead, it is all about being “with” nature.
Moving his livelihood to New York and sharing his art form of old Japanese wood working to the world, Isao Hanafusa, co-owner of Miya Shoji, has carved himself a unique niche in the competitive market of the furnishing industry.
Sought out and revered by New Yorkers wanting that embrace with nature in their interior decor with a style and durability in craftsmanship that can’t be rivaled by most factory produced alternatives.
All furniture selections in Miya Shoji showrooms are hand crafted, even the types lumber used in all his crafts are hand selected by Hanafusa himself. Isao Hanafusa was a graduate of Industrial Revolution studies of which he states has produced countless wonders for the modern world, but its cold machinery has also tragically killed off individual talent that is supposed to reside in craftsmen.
To this day, he rejects criticisms of his methods being unnecessarily old fashioned, because with all the bold talk of technologically advanced tools and methods used in modern day construction work, the Hanafusa family believes a thousand years worth of talent refinement and mastery should not be thrown away in exchange for mass production convenience.
Nor is it going to back down from the contest that their crafts will last even longer than rigid concrete and metal structures for the simple fact they are not designed to resist against the force of mother nature, but to live with her.
Photo Credit: YouTube