Japan’s Gankooyaji furniture maker opens first Hong Kong store

Japanese handmade furniture brand Gankooyaji has opened a store in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Gankooyaji was founded in 1971 by Yasuhiro Ohara. The name translates to “a stubborn father”, which offers a hint to the brand’s mission of using only old-growth wood from century-old trees and making furniture by hand.

Gankooyaji furniture

The new Hong Kong store, located on the 8th floor of the Kam Hon Industrial Building, on Wang Chiu Road, is divided into eight themed zones displaying furniture sorted according to the use of materials and production techniques.

Ohara believes that in a modern city like Hong Kong, with an emphasis on mechanisation and quick results, the quality of life and the beauty of tradition are easily sacrificed in a fast-paced lifestyle.

“Extraordinary traditional craftsmanship of furniture making will eventually phase out due to mechanisation,” he says.

“The traditional skills of woodworking is at risk of dying out despite its high value of preservation. My mission is to safeguard the heritage of woodworking and create high-quality furniture that last for generations, and at the same time introduce the beauty of Japanese traditional craftsmanship to Hong Kong people.”

Gankooyaji furniture 1

Ohara worked in a chain department store for mass-produced furniture before he started his own business.

Gankooyaji furniture 2

Gankooyaji insists on following the spirit of traditional Japanese craftsmanship, from the selection and processing of wood, to the connection techniques and paint lacquer. Ohara travelled all over Japan searching for talented traditional craftsmen, inviting them to produce high-quality furniture for the brand.

Gankooyaji has branches in Mito City and Tsukuba City of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It is also sold in Singapore.

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