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Hida - Curation Chroinicles

Hida - Curation Chroinicles

When it comes to woodworking, Hida in Japan is a place that stands out. Located in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan, Hida has a rich cultural heritage and tradition of woodworking that dates back centuries. This city is renowned for its expertise in crafting beautiful wooden furniture.

The Location

Hida's unique location in Japan makes it a prime location for woodworking. The forests surrounding the city are some of the most abundant and diverse in the country, providing a source of high-quality wood such as cypress, cedar, and chestnut. The artisans of Hida have been able to take advantage of this resource for centuries, developing a deep understanding of the properties of each type of wood and how it can be best used in their craft.

What sets Hida apart from other regions is its commitment to sustainable forestry practices. The forests are carefully managed to ensure that they continue to provide a continuous supply of wood for future generations. This means that the artisans of Hida are able to work with wood that is not only of the highest quality but also harvested in an environmentally responsible way.

The climate in Hida also plays a crucial role in the development of woodworking techniques. The summers are hot and humid, while the winters are cold and dry. These extreme weather conditions have influenced the way that the artisans of Hida work with wood. They have developed techniques to account for the changes in temperature and humidity, ensuring that their furniture remains durable and can withstand different weather conditions.

For example, during the humid summer months, the artisans will take extra care to dry the wood thoroughly before working with it. This helps to prevent warping and cracking as the wood dries out further during the dry winter months. The artisans also carefully select the type of wood they use based on its properties, choosing woods that are more resistant to moisture or better suited to withstand changes in temperature.

The Atelier

Walking through the streets of Hida, one can't help but notice the distinct smell of freshly cut wood that fills the air. This is just the beginning of the sensory experience that awaits visitors in the woodworking shops of Hida. These shops are typically small and cozy, with the artisans crafting their furniture using traditional tools such as chisels and saws. It's a stark contrast to the mass-produced furniture of today, and visitors are transported back in time to a world where furniture making was a true art form.

The lighting in the woodworking shops of Hida is well thought out, with natural light highlighting the rich wood colors and textures. The rough and smooth surfaces of the wood can be felt as soon as you enter the shop, with visitors encouraged to run their hands along the surfaces to fully appreciate the craftsmanship.

What sets the woodworking shops of Hida apart is the individual charm and personality of each shop. The furniture crafted by each artisan reflects their personal style and creativity, with a focus on traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. This dedication to tradition and attention to detail is evident in the finished product, with each piece of furniture exuding a sense of timelessness and beauty.

Visiting a woodworking shop in Hida is more than just a shopping experience; it's a chance to witness the art of furniture making in action. Visitors can watch the artisans at work and see firsthand the level of skill and precision required to create such beautiful pieces. The artisans are always happy to share their knowledge and techniques, offering visitors a chance to learn more about this ancient craft.

The Artisans 

The artisans of Hida are renowned for their exceptional skills in woodworking, and their ability to create furniture that is not only beautiful but also timeless. These skilled craftsmen come from families that have been involved in woodworking for generations, and they have inherited a wealth of knowledge and experience that has been passed down from their ancestors.

The training of these artisans begins at a young age, and they learn the traditional techniques of woodworking from their family members and other experienced artisans in their community. This training continues throughout their lives, with each new project offering an opportunity to refine and hone their skills further.

One of the key factors that contribute to the exceptional quality of the furniture produced by these artisans is their ability to select the right wood for each piece. This attention to detail is crucial for ensuring that the furniture is durable and will last for generations to come.

The traditional tools used by these artisans are also crucial for their success. The artisans are experts at using them to craft intricate designs and details into the wood. The use of these traditional tools requires a high level of skill and precision, which is why the artisans of Hida are so highly respected.

Each piece of furniture they craft is unique and has its story to tell, and this dedication to their craft is reflected in the exceptional quality of their products.


Every month, through Curation Chronicles, Provenance brings you content from the best artisans and ateliers from across the world.