Kaba-zaiku is a craft unique to Akita that has been passed down in Kakunodate since the end of the 18th century. Since 1970, Tomioka as a company has been a source for passing down the techniques of cherry bark crafts and hopes to share this valuable product with the world for many years to come.

Our Story

The art of Kaba-zaiku (cherry bark craftwork) was nurtured in a land surrounded by mountains.
The material for Kaba-zaiku, “wild cherry bark,” is harvested by “Koshin (coppicing),” a practice that preserves mountains. Japanese began to use wild cherry bark since the Jomon Period (approximately 7,000 years ago). After going through various usages, it developed into the Kaba-zaiku craftwork we see today. We preserve the mountains, live with gifts we receive from them, and continue to preserve them. Our forefathers have carefully protected and cultivated the mountains. We will continue to protect and nurture our culture to “living with the mountains” so we can pass the rich blessings down to our future

Mountains and Kaba-zaiku

At Tomioka, we harvest wild cherry bark from woodlands where Koshin is practiced (logged trees are used mainly as raw material for pulp). From the end of the rainy season to around September, craftsmen themselves go into the woods, look for wild cherry trees in good condition, and harvest the bark. Logged wild cherry trees sprout and grow shoots, multiplying in number, in 20 to 30 years, which leads to preservation of forests and local industries.

Trade Name    Tomioka-Shoten Company Limited
Main office location   2-2, Higashi-Katsuraku-cho, Kakunodate Town, Senboku City, Akita Pref., Japan, 014-0325
Representative Koki Tomioka
Date of establishment December 11, 1975
Number of employees 7 Persons
Affiliate Subcontractors 20 affiliate subcontract business offices including very experienced craftsmen

Company History

1975 Established “Tomioka-Shoten Company Ltd.” as a legal corporation
1976 “Kaba-zaiku” was designated as a “traditional craft” by the Minister of Trade and Industry
1988 Established a factory
2002 Built a new gallery
2005 Moved the main office to Katsurakucho, Kakunodate Town, and changed the old office and show-room into our main sales headquarter
2012 Participated and exhibited at the Ambiente trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany
Tray “kasanegasane” won the prize of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency’s Director Award at “Officially designated Traditional craft products open call for participants exhibition”

2013 Participated and exhibited at the trade fair“ambiente”in Frankfurt, Germany
2014 Participated and exhibited at the trade fair“ambiente”in Frankfurt, Germany
2015 Participated and exhibited at the trade fair“ambiente”in Frankfurt, Germany
Tea caddy “Join” is certified as the wonder 500

2016 Participated and exhibited at the trade fair“ambiente”in Frankfurt, Germany
2017 Participated and exhibited at the trade fair“ambiente”in Frankfurt, Germany

Tomioka’s crafts gallery

Beside the factory, there is a gallery that exhibits the selected Kaba-zaiku masterpieces from Tomioka’s products. When you come to Akita to sight, please have a look at our shop along the way.

71-3, Aza-Kumano, Kami-Uguisuno, Daisen City, Akita, 014-0202, Japan
Tel: +81-187-56-3239

“Kazuki Arts & Crafts” shop

This is Tomioka’s Arts&Crafts shop, Kazuki. The name “Kazuki”comes from the atmosphere of the hidden beauty found with blooming sakura in the moonlight. Japan has universally understood this sense of beauty since ancient times, but at Kazuki we try to share these cultural concepts with others. Kazuki’s collection not only contains Kaba-zaiku, but also features items that create a “lifestyle that leaves the heart overflowing”

2-2, Higashi-Katsuraku-cho, Kakunodate-machi, Senboku City, Akita, 014-0325, Japan