The kingdom of manufacturing –Aichi prefecture-
Words by Kabuki Nakashima
The kingdom of manufacturing
Aichi prefecture is known as a “Monozukuriken,” which means a prefecture that has a strong manufacturing industry and a rich local economy because of the industry such as TOYOTA. The reason why Aichi prefecture became a “Monozukuriken” dates back to 15century. Nobunaga Oda, who is a shogun, had a great influence on the manufacturing in Aichi prefecture, since he gathered specialists of manufacturing from all over Japan and gave them a competition. The winner of this competition took a title “Tenkaichi,’” which means the best craft man in Japan.
Encounter with shell crafts
12 years ago, he knew a shellfish called a turban shell for the first time. That's when he was working for a diving shop, thanks to the owner whose hobby was to polish shells.
Makoto also started to polish shells and he was very impressed by their beauty. Several years later after quitted diving shop, he suddenly thought to create a ring using a shell. He had done it better than he expected. "I couldn't stop, because every time I found it very interesting that they have various expressions." Soon, he became fascinated by it. By polishing shells, various patters appear. Each shell has particular patterns, particular beauty, and that's beyond all imagination. He strongly feels the magnificence of nature from these things.
Tombodama = glass beads
Teppei Okabe is famous workman of glass beads. He has his own studio “Tararira-studio of glass.” What is Tombodama? Tombodama is a kind of glass ball and it has beautiful decoration with colorful glass. It is said the glass ball looks like the eyes of dragonfly and so it is named Tombodama. He says the speciality of “Tombodama is the only one does not exist the second one, because they are made by hand in every process.
Why did he make glass-art?
He has visited many Asian countries. He had a lot of great experience from his journey and he felt that he would like to work as a professional craft man. Then, “Tombodama’ came up to his mind. At first, he just tried to make it because his mother has made “Tombodama” for many years. This was the natural motivation for him to start the career in the beginning.
Small world in the glass
"Tombodama" has many different patterns, designs and variety due to the nature of the glass itself. The way to decorate these glasses is winding glass rod on heated iron rod and painting decoration with thin line as long as they are still hot. He said "When I imagine what I want to make and try to make just like that, I can not make what I exactly have in mind. However, we can find something unique and interesting patterns from them. I often keep them in my drawer so that I can see them anytime."