Visit craftsmen – Murakami wood carving composking the heart that struggles whether to protect the tradition or match the present

October 6, 2015 We visited Shinya Suzuki, who is demonstrating his work in Aoyama Square.

Murakami Wood Carving Composk’s Craftsman: Shinya Suzuki

Murakami Wood Carving Compost is a traditional craft that continues to be made in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture.

It is characterized by wood carving with a chisel and applying layers of lacquer on top of it. “Compost” has vermilion, but there is a difference in vermilion depending on the house you are making, and it is the color of the family. In addition to “Compost”, there are also techniques such as “compost black”, “vermilion lacquer”, “gold polishing”, “colored lacquer painting”, and “three-colored carving”, and support the land of Murakami.


As a traditional craftsman

Qualifications for “Traditional Craftsman” acquired this year

It has been 13 years since Mr. Suzuki started Murakami Wood Carving Composk.


For more than 12 years, I have been working in traditional crafts, so I was able to take the exam last year and passed it splendidly.


At the Suzuki Lacquerware Store where Mr. Suzuki works, his father has already obtained a qualification, so he will be the second person at the shop.



Mr. Suzuki worked as a banker in Niigata Prefecture until he was 29 years old, but decided to return to his home because his eldest son, who had inherited his parents’ family, died. And he jumped into this world.


At first, I went to a carving training school during the day, went to a painting training school at night, and at other times I worked at the shop.


Mr. Suzuki himself had never learned or made Murakami Kibori Composk because he had never been told anything by his parents when he was a child, so he did not expect to take over the house.


With the age of 30 just before, I started from scratch. Tools have been in the house for a long time, but there are many things I don’t know.


Even so, he managed to graduate from a training school, and after that, he remembered how his father was making it.



Murakami wood carving compost that can not be mass-produced …

Traditional crafts that are mechanized during the bubble

It is a traditional craft because it is handmade, but in the bubble era when things sold well, there was a movement to introduce mechanization with the aim of mass production in part of the craft industry.


Murakami Wood Carving Compost also tried to mechanize it on the age, but unfortunately it failed. It turned out that this traditional craft could not be mechanized, so he gave up mass production and decided to go by hand.


However, when the times passed and it became the present, the flow that it was good because it was Murakami wood carving compost which had continued to make it with one handmade came out.


In an era when mass production was commonplace, it was unusual to carve wood with a chisel one by one, and it came to see the light of day as a traditional craft that is not so common elsewhere.



Mr. Suzuki, as a sculptor of Murakami Wood Carving Composk, seems to be proud of that and has been carving a chisel every day after drafting the wood base.


With the desire to let many people know …

Explanation of Murakami wood carving compost to junior high school students (left) / As a gift at my wedding reception (right)




What do you want to make in the future?

The sculpture that was actually carved in the production demonstration

Finally, when I asked Mr. Suzuki what kind of Murakami wood carving compost he wanted to make in the future, he said that he was at a loss.


While there is a desire to carry on the old tradition and make it from the desire to leave it to future generations because the work of really Murakami wood carving Composshu is also high in traditional value,
He also wants to make cups that are easy for young people to be interested in and works that suit their current lives.


Even though it is a traditional craft, if it does not sell, you can not live, and you can not make Murakami wood carving compost. In that sense, he said he would like to increase the number of successors on the side that uses it.


Currently, there are young people in Niigata Prefecture who do not know how to use Murakami wood carving compost, so in order to get to know from there, they are also collaborating with The University of Art and Design in Niigata Prefecture to spread it.


Vermilion modeling that does not get tired even if I use it every day, Murakami wood carving compost.
Why don’t you pick it up once?


There are also a few permanent exhibitions in Aoyama Square, so you can pick them up.


At Aoyama Square, he was exhibited at the Murakami Wood Carving Composting Exhibition – Echigo Murakami Traditional Techniques, but Mr. Suzuki usually makes products at suzuki lacquerware store.
We also accept tailor-made, so if you have a pattern you want to write, you may be able to make it with a design if you can tell.

What do you think?


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    Written by 工芸プレス


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