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  • mm hmm you do this and they couldn't talk.

  • Let's go to the big sky.

  • Yeah.

  • Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is known for its vast open natural spaces, mountains and forests and arguably no area makes better use of all of this than the city of Asahikawa in Central Hokkaido.

  • The area is home to some of Japan's most legendary woodworking shops, furniture makers and designers, craftsmen from around the country moved to the area for the sake of improving their craft.

  • I want to share the story of this beautiful live edge walnut desk that was made for me by one of these craftsmen.

  • Over the period of several months I had the opportunity to visit Hokkaido earlier this year for the winter festival highly recommended by the way.

  • If you ever get the chance in my travels.

  • I had the good fortune to come in contact with one of Asahikawa oldest and most legendary furniture makers called Candy House.

  • They've been in operation for 50 years despite living and working in Japan for over a decade.

  • I've never had a proper desk to sit and work at and it felt like it was time to change that.

  • In May.

  • The gentleman from the beginning Mr Maya had, I came to look at my space and we started planning out the desk by june, they found a slab of walnut to match what I was looking for.

  • And I headed up to Asahikawa to start documenting the process.

  • All right.

  • So I just arrived in Asahikawa up in Hokkaido and I am on my way to Candy House right now too.

  • Mhm Meet the maker.

  • If you will show Canadians are pretty excited about.

  • So, Candy House is right over here, right across the road.

  • They have their first ever factory, which is the one where my desk is going to be made.

  • So we're gonna head over here.

  • The factory that they have on this side.

  • Everything is kind of built in like an assembly line style format.

  • Whereas the one they have here, everything is made by hand by the show Canon or Maker from start to finish one person all the way through.

  • I'm about to get the first peak at the piece of wood that's going to be used for my desk.

  • We specifically worked out the shape.

  • So you know, let me just moto g, they call relatives, head of Security.

  • The goal is to kind of have the desk wrap around the edge like this.

  • And then there's gonna be a separate cabinet off to the side here.

  • So, as you can see, I'll probably be sitting somewhere around here with this edge rapping over the side and then the cabinet, It will be somewhere over here.

  • We started by talking about how I planned on using the desk going a little deeper into its design.

  • So that the craftsman.

  • Mr Yamaguchi could get a real feel for both the peace he was about to begin working on and the person he was making it for once it all came together.

  • It was as if a switch had been flipped inside of him and he started giving the desk its shape.

  • Mm hmm.

  • The whole thing just happened so quickly that I haven't really had time to process it.

  • But that's Let's step one.

  • We're gonna have to come back for the other steps.

  • Good to be connected to me.

  • This right here is basically one giant log sliced into table or desk portions.

  • I had a chance to go out and see the wood mills that prepped and stored the wood for the desk oddly beautiful.

  • By the way being Japan, I was actually taken aback by the size and scale of the yard itself.

  • These yards tend to use sprinklers to keep logs moist in order to reduce decay and stain and all of that.

  • But the real magic and beauty were inside.

  • So, because the wood is so hard in order to prep it, they take some time and they bathe each log getting to see the wood mills and how the wood was prepped.

  • Actually added a lot to the experience for me, there was a certain layer of depth that was gained from getting to see this part of the process.

  • Before I knew that this trip to Chicago had flown by and it was time to head back to Tokyo for a while.

  • You have any questions, please ask your president and hi carol.

  • The work on the desk was just getting started though in the month that I was back in.

  • Tokyo Mr Yamaguchi began prepping the main slab of the desk securing cracks in the wood by in laying butterflies or bow ties.

  • Candy House was kind enough to document this process and send it to me so that I could stay in the loop and see how things were coming along after making any major change.

  • Mr Yamaguchi would let this lab sit for anywhere from a few days to a week to see how the wood reacted to the change before moving on to the next step.

  • Before I arrived back in Asahikawa, he had sealed up the cracks in the slab and sanded the entire surface flat and then I was on a plane heading back, It is the end of july right now and I have just come back to uh to see how my desk is coming along right in front of me.

  • By the time I had arrived, mr Yamaguchi was already starting work on the desk for the day.

  • His first goal was to clean up the live edge of the desk, basically getting rid of rot or anything that would compromise the longevity or overall integrity of the desk itself.

  • During this visit, we get to know a lot more about each other and he started to open up and share quite a bit more about himself and his process.

  • What would happen.

  • Right, uh huh You look a lot of people, hey yeah, mm hmm, It is the morning of day two and we are heading off to the workshop.

  • I'm really looking forward to today's part of the process.

  • I think today we're doing the legs.

  • Mr Yamaguchi had actually started on the legs the day before.

  • The process is very involved requiring repeated measurements and checks every step of the way the jigs that he used were custom built for the purpose of this desk as he does for every single desk that he makes, every move is done with the greatest of care.

  • And despite his calm demeanor, he says that he feels the pressure from start to finish.

  • Hi, uh huh about the war, who you are not a car.

  • So it took a month to get in there.

  • You don't get, you look at mhm You do not know when I met, you know, discussion, discussion this level of care really showed through and working on the leg bases, hours of back and forth with only hairline adjustments each time, all in the name of dedication to the perfection of the peace at hand.

  • On our first meeting.

  • Mr Yamaguchi told me that he actually moved from just outside of Tokyo to Asahikawa for the sole purpose of working with candy house and making furniture.

  • He's one of the company's most experienced show Canon and truly seems to have a lot of love for what he does.

  • When I asked him what it is about the job that he loves so much.

  • He told me that when he gets into a project he falls into a flow state where everything around him just disappears and in that time he's free from everything else.

  • He can simply do what he loves doing.

  • We talked a lot as he worked.

  • I was always worried about distracting or bothering him and although I wouldn't understand why until later on, he seemed genuinely interested in learning more about me, stung up stumbles later, it's incredibly heavy missy, I'm good.

  • She just finished up this piece here, which is going to be the shelf that'll be mounted underneath the desk.

  • This particular shelf is actually going to house my shammy sen both of width and length were decided based on the size of my shammy sen case mhm Yeah, he's about to cut that beautiful piece and separate the desk portion from it.

  • It's kind of bittersweet.

  • Mhm, mm hmm, yeah, mhm mhm, mhm mhm, mm hmm, I've got to be downstairs in three minutes because today they're putting the finishing coat or the oil on the desk and I'm almost late.

  • Hi, I'm so behind me here is mr Saito and he's going to be oiling the desk today, putting on that finish coat to protect the deaths.

  • Mhm mhm Oh, I will say that I'm going to miss the smells of the wood in the workshop and just everything in there is just they say that smell is one of those things that can trigger or build memories, There's a lot of stuff for me to process.

  • But for now I guess we're gonna head back to Tokyo.

  • I just swung by the factory one last time to say bye to Yamaguchi SAn before I head back to the airport it's evening.

  • Now we had a really nice talk.

  • I uhh I'm actually kind of gonna miss him, I've spent so much time documenting his process.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • Mhm After one more quart of oil and a few final touch ups, I was touched to find out that Mr Yamaguchi himself hand packed the desk piece by piece in preparation to have it sent to me in Tokyo and as much as I would love to say that time flew by as I waited for the desk to arrive.

  • Such was not the case, but I think we all know what it's like when you're looking forward to something.

  • The desk itself arrived at 10 a.m. On my birthday and to my surprise, Mr Yamaguchi had even included a small handmade present along with it with a note saying that the president's is secret.

  • So I guess you know it's crap that part, the desk did take a little while to set up but once it was fully set up I sat down to record a few scenes with it but it was like a complete and utter loss for words and that brings us to today, sitting here at what is probably the last desk I will ever need in my entire life.

  • Having the opportunity to see it built and get to document the process definitely added a depth of appreciation.

  • I edited this entire video right here at this desk.

  • My shamisen live in this desk.

  • It's already become such a major part of my life and outside of expressing a huge debt of gratitude to both Candy House and mr Yamaguchi for all of their hard work.

  • I just, I have nothing else to say.

  • Look at all this green.

  • It turns out that they actually planned over 4000 trees a year just to make all of this sustainable.

mm hmm you do this and they couldn't talk.

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A2 desk yamaguchi wood process hokkaido tokyo

I Spent 3 Months With A Japanese Master Craftsman

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/12/01
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