Everything I do is about the challenge of getting people to understand the craft involved in interior fixtures.
- Yoshitaka Seike
“I challenge myself every time I make something,” says Yoshitaka Seike. He runs an interior fixtures store here in Ainan Town, now in its second generation of business. He grew up at his father’s elbow, watching him work, so he knew the joy of making things and felt no hesitation about following in his father’s footsteps. Every Japanese household has a need for interior fixtures like doors and sliding paper screens, and making these is the mainstay of the business. The aspect of his job that Seike-san has challenged himself the most down the year is latticework.
With parts cut out from a single tree, and assembled without using a single nail, the delicacy of latticework is breathtakingly beautiful. This is a craft that takes time and practice to master. Seike-san was good enough to show us his new work of this year, called “The Fairy,” which hasn’t been exhibited anywhere yet. “This is what it looks like when you express traditional handicrafts with a contemporary spin. I take on a new work every year because I want many people to realize that you can do something like this if you’re an interior fixtures craftsman with the traditional skills, says a smiling Seike-san. “I enjoy getting through each and every stage of the process.” Seike-san has long wanted to play a part in raising the profile and status of interior-fixtures craft workers. To this end, and to appeal to the next generation, he’s taken part in numerous art exhibition since the mid-1980s, and won many prizes. In recognition of his outstanding skills, he has been awarded the title of “Meister” by the All Japan Federation of Technicians. Along with hands-on activities for children, he is also currently running workshops and other events as a way for people to discover the enjoyment of working as an interior-fixtures craft worker.
Seike-san’s handcrafted latticework adorns hotels and temples both inside and outside the prefecture as transom windows and partitions. These works are not just architectural features; each one acts like a framed piece of art, embellishing the space it is placed in. If you’re thinking of building a house or opening a store, by all means visit this outstanding craftsman to get a sense of what he can do.
- [ Nisshin Tategu ]
- 4314-1 Misho Hirajo, Ainan-cho, Minamiuwa-gun, Ehime Prefecture