Kobo Akarino-Tane

A studio of young craftsmen who have inherited the tradition of woodworking lathe of Asahikawa.
Using only lumber produced in Hokkaido, they create each product by hand.


Korokoro Akari (Roly-poly Lamp)

Wooden lamps are a hallmark of Kobo Akarino-Tane. Korokoro Akari automatically switches off after 15 minutes. This was an idea of the designer Rie Isono who had to put her child to sleep with the lights on—as the child was afraid of darkness—and fell asleep herself in the process. The Hokkaido fir used for the shade is processed by hand and thin enough to let the light through. Due to their image as cheap construction materials, softwoods tend to be avoided in craft, but the white surface that takes on a dim rouge hue in light is quite pleasant to the eye. It’s battery-powered, so it can be used abroad, too.

Size:φ9.5 x H12 cm
Materials: Fir (shade), walnut (base) 
Finish: hade (Soap finish), base (oil finish)
Battery used: 2 AA batteries (international standard: R6)

Chiisaki Hanaire (Small Vase)

These are tiny bud vases for flowers picked on the side of the road. Their height is 4 centimeters. They are a revision of the vases Inoue’s grandfather produced about 40 years ago. Imitating the forms of existing vases, they are made taking meticulous care to every detail including the base. The outer surfaces are finished with urethane resin, but the coating does not cover the inside of the narrow mouths. Water can cause saturation and damage the wood, so it is advised to use cut flowers without water. The graceful wood grain and subtle color of maple accentuate the beauty of the flowers in them.

Size: Φ3.8cm x 5.5 (cm) (at the largest; the size varies product by product.)
Materials: Maple
Finish: Urethane

Kodomo Cutlery (Cutlery for children)

Cutlery for children includes spoons, forks and sporks. The size of the grip is ideal to fit in small children’s hands. These are made using a planer and a coping saw, which are not tools that are used often in Kobo Akarino-Tane, which specializes in lathe works. With safety of children in mind, the cutlery is made of domestic lumber and is finished with natural oils. Although the oils’ water resistance is weaker than that of urethane, it is actually easy to take care of this product. Just quickly wash it with water, and wipe it dry afterwards. *Please do not soak it in water.*

Size: W30 x L140 (cm)(depends on the shape)
Materials: Birch
Finish: Beeswax, walnut oil

Product List

Hiroyuki Inoue

Born in Asahikawa in 1979 and graduated from Hokkaido Institute of Technology, Inoue worked for a company in Fukushima for 3 years. Aspiring to become a woodworker, he moved back to his hometown of Asahikawa where his grandfather had a woodworking studio. He taught himself woodworking and launched Kobo Akarino-Tane with his wife Miyuki in 2006. Appointed as the chairman of the Asahikawa Craft Association and Asahikawa branch chief of Codo-mono-coto, a project that thinks about children’s everyday lives and proposes ideas for them; he works passionately to vitalize Asahikawa’s woodworking in addition to his production work as well.

I put great emphasis not only on my own product development but also on the enlivenment of Asahikawa woodworking as a whole.
I wish to inherit the legacy of woodworking lathe techniques of Asahikawa whose number of factories have been declining each year.




Woodworking lathe

Woodworking lathe is a technique that rotates wood pieces against a sharp blade using a machine to shape them. It is also called “kiji hiki mono (bare wood sanding)” or woodturning. In the process of teaching himself woodworking lathe techniques, Inoue took in advice from many senior craftsmen. The reason why Inoue as a woodworking lathe craftsman accepts Asahikawa‘s lathing orders on top of development and production of his own products is because, apart from improving his own skills, he wishes to inherit the legacy of woodworking lathe techniques of Asahikawa where the number of factories is decreasing each year due to the aging of the city.

Fir produced in Hokkaido

The main lumber used in Kobo Akarino-Tane’s lamp shades is fir (conifer) found in Hokkaido. Because of its cheap image and difficulty to work with (due to rich resin and knots), these are materials that are not usually preferred in craftwork. Despite such disadvantages, Inoue choose the material for its whiteness and clear grains that take on a beautiful red hue when under light. Conifer is also characterized by its soft nature. Although you can hardly tell the difference by the touch, he chooses the material aiming to create products that add a gentle ambience to rooms that they decorate.

The studio was established in 2006 by Hiroyuki Inoue and his wife Miyuki. Hiroyuki succeeded the studio and tools from his grandfather, Ushio Inoue, and began woodwork production after teaching himself about it. He develops and produces original products for his company, mainly lighting products as the name of the studio implies, while also doing business as a bare wood processor, receiving orders of Asahikawa‘s woodworking lathe processing. He actively expands exchanges by meeting manufacturers and buyers outside of Hokkaido through the Asahikawa Mokko Community Camp and other opportunities. His craft studio is one that creates new movements while also inheriting the legacy of Asahikawa‘s woodworking.

Kobo Akarino-Tane

2-4-14 Higashi-nanajou, Asahikawa City, Hokkaido