KINOKABAN®︎ is a hand-carved wooden handbag with one-of-a-kind design by Yuuki Kamei. The main part of the bag is made of old-growth Japanese Linden tree (Tilia japonica), which has stood in Hokkaido, Japan for over 150 years.
The body of the bag is made of linden (Japanese linden,Tilia japonica), a tree endemic to Japan. Linden is characterized by its beautiful white grain and has long been used for building materials and crafts because it is soft and easy to process. Common linden tree (Tilia x europaea), also known as lindenbaum, is used as a raw material for musical instruments, herbs, and honey. In the production of our wooden bags, linden trees grown in the virgin forests of Hokkaido, which are over 150 years old, are purchased in their raw state and sawn to produce the most beautiful grain.
The sawn linden boards are slowly dried in a warehouse in the Yatsugatake Atelier for about 10 years to allow them time to settle and become suitable for bags.
There is no fixed number of bags produced from a single piece of wood. In order to avoid waste, each piece of wood is carefully "cut" considering the characteristics of its grain and knots. Inspired by the shapes created by nature, we create unique wooden bags by "designing for the tree" that thoroughly uses up every inch of the wood without wasting anything.
Various lacquering techniques are used. These include the use of urushi lacquer, which is a traditional Japanese coating material, and a wipe lacquer finish using raw urushi, black urushi, etc., to bring out the grain of the wood and apply multiple layers of coating.
In addition to urushi lacquer, the wood may also be dyed and then coated with urethane resin paint. In either case, they are water-resistant enough for daily use, so you can go out in the rain without worrying.
A wide variety of designs and colors are available, including gradation, two-tone, and dot patterns. Each piece has a completely different look depending on the type of lacquer, the combination of dyes, seasonal differences in temperature and humidity, and the inspiration of the artist.
In pursuit of both strength as a bag and lightness to carry, it is finished three-dimensionally while maintaining a certain degree of thickness.
Not only the outside but also the inside of the bag is finely carved and finished. Some designs has a further engraved surface to express its unique texture. Some designs are completely untouched to match the original wood grain. In their finished state, they weigh approximately 300 to 600 grams.
The bottom of the bags is carved with a pattern to prevent slipping and reduce weight, another surprise when you see it.
The closure of a wooden bag is structured like a dial, which opens up and down by twisting it left and right. The closure is easy to open and close, with no loosening or coming off, and has both ease of use and design.
The closures are made of hardwood branches such as kumquats and kokutan, as well as other materials available at the time. Since the Kinokaban was founded in 1990, more than 30 different materials have been used to create various designs, which were completed after many trials and errors. Some are decorated with glass beads, mother-of-pearl inlay, shrunken lacquer inlay, and engravings.
The unique design and coloring of wooden bags are suited for display and enjoyment in various places in the home.
At the same time, the bags are created with ease of use in mind, considering that they are a practical product and something you carry with you when you go out.
We are conscious of the curves that fit comfortably in the hand, the feel of the hand, and the thickness that is easy to grip. With the exception of a few design-oriented items, the inner diameter of the handle is thick enough to be easily passed through the arm.
In addition, to ensure that the product can be used without worrying about rain stains, dirt, or color transfer to clothing, we have applied a sufficient layer of lacquer or coating agent to the coating. If a bag gets wet during use on a rainy day, it can be wiped dry with a soft cloth. If stains cannot be removed by wiping with water, a diluted neutral detergent can be used.
Compared to leather or fabric bags, the wooden bag is not as flexible and expansive and may not be able to hold as much stuff.
It can be used as a compact mini bag to carry only the essentials that you usually carry with you when going out. Shape and size may vary depending on the design.
The inside is beautifully carved to match the design. The basic design leaves the carving marks so that you can feel the texture, aroma, and flavor of the linden wood when you open the bag. The inside is polished until it is smooth so as not to scratch anything that can be placed inside.
The interior has a simple structure with no partitions, making it easy to see and take out what you put inside. The artist's signature and serial number are engraved on the inside.
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