Two-thirds of Japan’s land area consists of forests and woodland.  Despite that, more than 60% of the lumber used in Japan is imported.  We wanted to seize this opportunity to create a new brand that would spark awareness and appreciation of the timber and trees that surround us in Japan.  That said, we are working in a market which – due to the widespread tradition of making furniture from domestic lumber such as hinoki (cypress) and sugi (cedar) – made it difficult to harmonize this approach with current, modern Japanese lifestyles.  However, if we only look at the qualities of the wood itself, it became apparent to us that conifer timbers – which are often considered as inappropriate for furniture use due to its softness – is actually very pleasant to touch for that very reason, and through the occasional scratch and dent over time the wood will age gracefully.  It is still possible to design and create fresh new items capable of conveying natural wood scents and tactile characteristics – which are now somewhat eye-opening experiences in our present-day rational and industrialized society.


The KIKOE logo is rectangular, signifying a place to live, with the rings signifying the age of the wood.  KIKOE literally translates as tree-voice and we wanted people to listen to what the trees had to say.  The first collection of furniture and order-made pieces from KIKOE features the experience and skill of the craftsmen at Mizokawa Co., Ltd.  An unassuming yet beautiful frame holds pieces of untreated timber that have been arranged to look like shafts of sunlight.  A new, fresh approach to furniture design that would have been previously unthinkable in terms of domestic timber.  For some items, older pieces have been dismantled and some parts reused to create a type of hybrid furniture – a sustainable approach for the future.


Our second series of KIKOE products uses advanced timber processing technologies to create radial patterns of unrivalled beauty from hinoki (cypress) and sugi (cedar).  This urbane, geometrical approach to creating stripes with organic, natural materials is at once a little surprising and yet very attractive. These designs for legged furniture and other daily use items also serve to open up many new possibilities for domestic timber.




2016 – now


Design For Asia (DFA) Bronze Award (2019), Wood Design Award (2015)

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