"Odate, Akita Japanese Bending Wood"

Magewappa is a Japanese bending wood technique that has been carried on in Odate City, Akita Prefecture for 1,300 years. In the late 17th century, it developed as a side job for the lower class Samurai of downtown Odate Castle, and in 1980, Odate's Magewappa was designated as the only Japanese traditional craft among all Magewappa in Japan. 

Magewappa, Magemono, Magewa

The Japanese bending wood technique sometimes has several similar designations, such as Magewappa, or Magemono, Magewa, etc., which have slightly different meanings.

First, Japanese bending wood techniques are generally referred to as "Magemono". And "Magewappa", refers to the traditional Magemono made in Odate, Akita Prefecture. The term "Magewa" is rarely used, and refers to the ringed part of the Magemono, excluding the bottom, or the technique.

Odate's Magewappa are made of Akita cedar, which is unique to the nature of Akita Prefecture, and are all handcrafted by artisans using techniques that have remained unchanged since the Magemono technique was first established in Japan.

Charm of Magewappa

Magewappa are made from thinly sliced Akita cedar or cypress wood, unique to Akita Prefecture, soaked in boiling water to soften it, quickly bent to fit the shape, dried, and then sewn with cherry bark strip to form a loop, and the bottom is fitted without any gaps.

Magewappa is beautiful and lightweight, easy to carry, and has the advantage that the cedar's antibacterial and moisture retention properties keep the rice inside from getting sore and keep it tasty. The modern Magewappa is made with a urethane coating to increase durability, which gives the Akita cedar a more elegant sheen and allows it to be washed thoroughly with dishwashing detergent and can be used for many years.

Popular Makers

Odate Kougeisha

Odate Kougeisha is a Magewappa company established in 1959, continuing the 1300 year old Magewappa manufacturing process while creating various Magewappa designs to fit the modern lifestyle. The company handles the entire process of making Magewappa, from purchasing Akita cedar logs, lumbering, bending, sewing with cherry bark strip, attaching the bottom, and finishing.

Now 26 craftsmen, including 5 traditional craftsmen recognized in Japan, are making Magewappa in Odate Kougeisha.

All of Magewappa items in MUSUBI KILN are made by Odate Kougeisha.