Takahashi Kougei

Takahashi Kougei is known for its delicate products made using highly sophisticated woodturning techniques passed down from earlier generations. It offers simple woodenwares that fit effortlessly into modern lifestyles.


Kami Series

This series of mostly wooden drinking vessels is made from Hokkaido’s sen (castor aralia) trees using a lathe. The items in the series are thin enough to allow light to pass when held up to a light source and have a white tone, and hence the name kami (paper). The sides of Kami cups are only about 2 millimeters thick, allowing the warmth of a hot drink to pass gently to one’s hands. They are lightweight, easy to hold, and are resistant to breaking when dropped, so they can also be used by young children and senior citizens.

Design: Hidetoshi Takahashi (Takahashi Kougei), Masanori Oji (Oji & Design)
Material: (Hokkaido) Sen
Finish: Tableware urethane coating
Size: 81 mm (Diam), 91 mm (H)


Cara Series

This series of mostly wooden plates is made from Hokkaido’s linden trees using a lathe. The name Cara comes from egg shells (kara), and all items in the series have delicate “egg-shaped” curves that fit naturally in one’s hand. The linden surface is covered with the same urethane coating as that found on school lunch tableware, making the plates easy to wash and use, water resistant, highly durable.

Design: Rina Ono (rinao design)
Material: (Hokkaido) Linden
Finish: Tableware urethane coating
Size: 240 mm (Diam), 35 mm (H)

Kakudo Series

The Kakudo (angle) series features an array of tableware and kitchen utensils with rounded corners and functional, easy-to-handle angles. Examples include the Bagel Plate table mat, carefully carved from pieces of natural wood; Butter Case, whose lid fits the case snugly at a 45-degree angle to prevent clogging; Kakudo Board that can be used both as a cutting board and dish; and octagonal Kakudo Cutting Board, whose sides are indented to make them easy to hold. The angles in this series have been rounded, though, into gentle curves.

Design: Masanori Oji (Oji & Design)
Material: Itaya (maple), cherry, walnut
Finish: Oil finish; tableware urethane coating
Size: 28 mm (W) × 17.4 mm (D) × 2.1 mm (H)

Product List

Hidetoshi Takahashi


Born in 1969, Hidetoshi joined his father and turnery mentor’s company Takahashi Kogei in 1992 after working at a construction company. In 2007, Hidetoshi released Takahashi Kogei’s most acclaimed product “Kami Glass.” He currently works with designers Masanori Oji and Rina Ono on the “Kami,” “Cara,” and “Kakudo” series and also produces other simple, functional wooden tableware that features the natural color and grain of high quality Hokkaido wood. He followed his father’s footsteps to become Takahashi Kogei’s second generation president in 2009.

Taking wood from Hokkaido’s mountains
and making wares out of them is
a way of connecting the mountains and humans.





Astonishing thinness of 2mm

To achieve thicknesses of just 2 millimeters—generally considered impossible for wood utensils—Hidetoshi Takahashi has developed a special blade for the lathe used in creating his Kami series cups. The key is to eliminate all unnecessary vibrations and stabilize the lathe’s movement. While this initially entailed a process of trial and error, the lathing expertise nurtured by Takahashi Kougei since its founding in 1965 and the pioneering spirit that has engendered one new innovation after another have enabled the steady production of Kami series cups.

Produced over many years with long-term maintenance service

The lumber used in Takahashi Kougei products is purchased while the trees are still growing in the mountains. After felling, the wood is seasoned for several years to allow for warping or shrinking before being used in a product. Takahashi Kougei also provides thorough after-sales care, repairing any cracked utensils or reapplying tableware urethane coating for a fee, in the hope that the utensils will be used for at least as long as the time it took for the trees in Asahikawa to grow.


Masanori Oji

Born in 1974, Oji founded “msg.” in 1999 after working at a graphic design office. In 2004, he changed the company’s name to “Oji Design.” Since 2008, he has worked collaboratively with Takahashi Kogei on the “Kami” and “Kakudo” series of wooden tableware. In 2012, he launched the “Tetete Cooperative” and has since organized the “Tetete Sample Fair,” which showcases handicraft items and the “Tetete Arcade.” He is also involved in design and planning for various handicraft industries in Japan.


Rina Ono

After graduating form the Department of Product Design at the Tohoku University of Art and Design, Ono worked at design offices and graduated from the graduate program in Product Design at the same university in 2001. Also in 2001, she studied abroad at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Sweden. She began working as a departmental assistant at the Department of Product Design at the Tohoku University of Art and Design in 2002 and established “rinao design” in fall 2007. Snce 2008, she has worked collaboratively with Takahashi Kogei on the “Cara” and “Eni” series of wooden tableware.

The hallmark of Takahashi Kougei products is the meticulous attention to detail given in applying highly refined lathing techniques. The respective features of various high quality Hokkaido-grown trees are used to craft simple and functional wood products. When the company was founded by woodturner Shoichi Takahashi in 1965, it first produced mostly table legs and ornamental pillars. With the downturn in the domestic furniture market, Takahashi Kougei launched in the 1980s the production of wood cups and sugar pots using lathes, becoming the founder of the Asahikawa group of wood tableware makers. The Kami Glass series of drinking cups—developed by second-generation President Hidetoshi Takahashi in 2007—attracted great attention for its unadorned simplicity and thinness previously thought unattainable for wood utensils, becoming one of Takahashi Kougei’s most popular items. This was further refined into the Kami series through contributions by designers Masanori Oji and Rina Ono. New lines of products were subsequently added to the Takahashi Kougei lineup, including the Cara series inspired by the curve of egg shells and the Kakudo series of polygonal utensils. These wooden items have a modern sensibility, enabling them to blend naturally into the contemporary lifestyle, and lend warmth to one’s environment.

Takahashi Kougei

9-2-5 Gojo Nishi, Asahikawa, Hokkaido