about hinoki

A traditional material used for Buddhist statues and structure of temples and sanctuaries

For ages, the wood of cypress has been employed for Buddhist temples, sanctuaries and all the artistic products made with lacquer. That beautiful and fine grain is the proof that this cypress has grown up for more that 300 years. The texture is really pure, and if you proceed on cutting by examining each different grain, the quantity of wood that you can obtain from a tree of cypress is really low.

Recently, people in the world started to appreciate much the several good effects deriving from the fragrance of the cypress, the “Fitontsid” , such as disinfection, repellent of insects, relaxing, conservation, preserve from humidity, extinguish bad smell. The cypress is used for bath goods but also for cutting boards, kitchen and entire life goods.


Massage from Ryu Kosaka

After having conducted a profound examination, a scholar said that “the traditional Japanese cypress bathtub has the most potent relaxing effect”, and in a luxurious and exclusive relaxation center in L.A., it seems that they started using it. I think that nowadays the bathtub, or furo as it is called in Japanese, is not just the place to wash one’s body, but it must be also a place to relax.
There is a very special relationship between the Japanese and the furo, and the Japanese people have been enjoying having hot baths for a long time.
However, even if the practice of bathing is still considered important in Japan, it has been changing and it has become far more rational than it was in the past. Keeping this in mind, I decided to propose a Japanese traditional cypress bathtub in an up-to-date version. 300-year-old cypresses’ wood was used to construct buildings that have now more than a thousand years of history, and this shows the congeniality between our environment and this material. The main aim of my project is to express softness, which is one of the characteristics of the wood, creating something you just could not resist touching. I would like to thanks the lumber workers and the craftsmen for their help and cooperation, who helped me in realizing my project and who impressed me so much with their techniques and knowledge.

  • Ryu Kosaka
    Nomura Co.Ltd, Tokyo.
    Executive Creative Director of A.N.D.
  • Biography
    Born in1960 in Tokyo
    BA in Architecture at Musashino Art University, Tokyo.
  • He has been planning many restaurants and shops’ interior design, and the Mandarin Hotel Tokyo’s main dining room, or his contribution to the Shin Marubiru project are just a few examples of his wide spectrum of experiences. About working as a designer he says that “I am not an artist, I am just trying to give an attractive shape to what my clients want”.


The shape realized by the experience and the mind of a craftsman

If the role of a designer is to create an image and say:“ I want to create this!”,the one of a craftsman is to create a product which is the nearest possible to that image. While repeating many times this kind of communication, the cypress bathtub has been created.
The wood behaves in order to the shape of the annual rings, to the temperature and the humidity. Even if you try to practice all the methods which belong to engineer science, with only the human knowledge, it is not possible to stop the movement of a wood which has lived for more than 300 years. The most difficult things for us were two: how to compose the materials in order to create the third dimension and how to insert in the materials the stainless hoop . I can not tell all the details, but we tried many ways in order not to brake a so innovative design and not to create any gap between the connections of the parts. (Kesao Ito)

Kesao Ito wooden bucket

Profile of the craftsman
In 1975 Kesao became a disciple of his father,Kazuma, as a OKE, wooden bucket, craftsman. In 2005 he obtained Master craft award in Nagano prefecture; in quality of one of the most representative wooden bucket craftsman of contemporary Japan, he is fully dedicating himself in his work.


Basin with bending surface
It possesses a natural shape obtained using the peculiar grain of the cypress and chipping pure materials

Long shape basin
It is a basin with a neat figure that reproduces the most traditional image of the basin used in the furo

Square basin
It is a simple and compact basin made of four blocks of cypress