Ibazen is a private studio that handles every step of the manufacturing process from sanding to lacquering.
The studio is located adjacent to the artist’s residence. The natural mix between production and private life is appealing.



This is a small, convenient chair—with a hole so it can be held with greater ease—that epitomizes the simple appeal of Ibazen’s furniture. The seating surface is concave to make seating more comfortable, and it is designed to be used not just as a chair but also as a stepstool, side table, and in other ways. It comes in five sizes—with diameters of 30, 36, 42, 48, and 54 centimeters—and the length of legs can be customized to the user’s preferences.

Size: 30 cm (Diam) × 30–60 cm (H)
Material: Oak
Finish: Wipe lacquering


(Collapsible) Low Dining Table

Chabudai were quite common in Japan until about half a century ago, when chairs had yet to make inroads into Japanese dining rooms. Families sat on the floor on tatami mats around these low dining tables, whose legs could often be folded up so the room could be used for other purposes when not dining. Ibazen’s chabudai has this feature as well. It is made of oak, which is scratch resistant, and can be custom-made with a rectangular or oval tabletop.

Size: 90 cm (Diam) × 30 cm (H)
Material: Oak
Finish: Wipe lacquering

Wall Clock

This is a simple clock that many Japanese people—at least those old enough—will recognize as having a feel of the Showa era (1926–89). Other Ibazen products share this quality, but this, apparently, was not intentional; it was simply the result of a relentless pursuit of the ideal design. Both the face and hands of the clock are Ibazen originals.

Size: 19 cm (Diam) × 4 cm (D)
Material: Cherry, glass
Finish: Wipe lacquering

Product List

Takahito Iba


Born in 1975 in Shiga Prefecture. After working in auto repair, Iba spent seven years attending a professional school in Kyoto and apprenticing under wood sculptors and Kintaro Yazawa at Sashimono Kobo Yazawa. In 2007, he moved to Biei City, Hokkaido and established the furniture-making studio Ibazen. Supported by the Asahikawa woodworking community and its openness to immigrants, he actively procures lumber and exhibits works in the area. Iba makes furniture paying obsessive attention to the quality of the wood and lacquer and with an understanding that products made with natural materials get better with age and can be used for a very long time with repairs. His philosophy is apparent in his exclusive use of Hokkaido lumber.

Objects made of natural materials,
such as wood, get better with age.




Lacquer finish

Ibazen uses lacquer, believing that its surface strength makes it the best finish available. Its durability enables the long use of finished products, and it is all-natural, qualities that also conform to Ibazen’s inclinations. It is, however, hard to handle, so Ibazen built a humidity-controlled room for hand-applying lacquer; and rather than using sandpaper as a finishing tool, Ibazen uses Japanese planes to accentuate lacquer’s charms. Many Ibazen products are assembled with great precision using traditional wood-framing techniques that bring out the best in each material.

The room is kept dark except for a spotlight placed on the wood to ensure that the whittled surface is visible.
Joints are made using traditional Japanese joinery techniques, which does not use nails or screws.
Natural lacquer-finished surfaces are not only beautiful, but also durable and practical. Its beauty is enhanced by use and patina.

Ibazen was founded in 2007 by Takahito Iba in Biei, a town neighboring Asahikawa famous for its beautiful hills and rural landscape. Iba works out of a small and unassuming studio and lives next door. He not only manages Ibazen but is also personally involved in all aspects of the production process. Because his home and studio are next to each other, he can watch over the drying of lacquer in a humidity-controlled room by himself. He also lives in complete harmony Hokkaido’s harsh winters, undertaking the repair of his traditional home, collecting firewood from the hills in the back of the house, and eating the vegetables he grows in the garden.


Shimoseibi, Okikineushi, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido