Our base encompasses the area stretching from the urban heart of Kyoto to the mountainous region of Keihoku, located an hour by car northwest of the city. While the “Forest of Craft” is a symbol for our work that is not limited to any particular region, our efforts in Kyoto-Keihoku can serve as a model for others to follow. In Keihoku we are focusing on two initiatives. These initiatives have the purpose of connecting the forest, which is the fountainhead of all craftsmanship, and crafts, which are a manifestation of people’s enduring connection with nature.
The old character “藝,” meaning art, which is found in the Japanese word for crafts (工藝), comes from a pictograph which represents a person planting a sapling. Although it looks complex at first glance, we believe this character represents the true essence of arts and crafts. In the center of Forest of Craft’s emblem, a pair of hands cradles a sapling. Alongside those hands are a traditional Japanese woodworking plane (kanna) and wooden hammer, tools of the woodworking trade. The energy of craftsmanship flows out from the tools and hands to the rivers and mountains, and then back into the palms of our hands.
Making, buying, and using things all connect to forest cultivation - not for the sake of consumption, but to cultivate ourselves along with it. This kind of craftsmanship is sustainable and enduring, and has been enshrined in our "Ten Core Principles of Craftsmanship.”