Gallery: Hiyoshiya Creates Modern Lamps Modeled After Traditional Japan...

With over 150 years of experience manufacturing Wagasas (traditional Japanese umbrellas), family-run Hiyoshiya creates contemporary products that fit into any modern context. Their beautiful, functional and sustainable designs keep this important craft alive using green materials like bamboo wood and washi paper. Last week I had the chance to visit Hiyoshiya in Kyoto and talk with Kotaro Nishibori, president of the company and 5th generation of the family - read on for our exclusive feature!

About 10 years ago, with the demand for traditional Japanese umbrella decreasing dramatically, Kotaro decided to get involved in his wife’s family business in order to help it survive. He took a deep dive into the thousand-year history, manufacturing evolution and cultural importance of Wagasas in Japan, and began thinking of new ways to apply this unique craft in contemporary products.

Kotaro identified 3 main elements of the traditional Japanese umbrella: a bamboo frame, a folding mechanism, and the warm atmosphere created when light shines through the Washi paper. He thought of lighting products as the perfect way to reinterpret these elements – they could perpetuate the essence of wagasas in designs that would fit in contemporary homes. Working closely with designers, Hyoshiya developed Kotori, a collection of pendant and floor lights that are manufactured using the same materials and craft techniques the company has mastered over the past century.


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1 Comment

  1. Robert Moore February 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

    i would like to purchase one of the Kotori umbrella lamp shades, please can you tell me if there is a retailer in the UK, or can i order one direct from the suplier…?

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