Hakata magemono is a cylindrical wooden container made by bending a thin wooden board from Japanese cedar or Japanese cypress and binding the end of the boards together with the bark from a cherry tree without using metals such as nails.
This Magemono is used for containers, including rice tubs and bento boxes as a consumer product, kensui (waste-water bowl) for tea ceremonies and as a container for confectioneries.
There are several theories of its origin, but it goes back as far as the Yayoi period where it was excavated from the from the archaeological remains. Production was ramped up during the Edo period and there is a tradition of these offered as a ritual article at the Hakozaki Shrine located in Fukuoka City.

TOKUGORO SHIBATA

Tokugoro Shibata was born in Fukuoka City in 1928. He made Magemono from around the age of twelve while following in the footsteps of his father. He was recognized by Fukuoka City in 1981 as an intangible cultural heritage technique holder.
“Hakata Magemono” is a traditional craftwork which is believed to have a history of over 300 years.
The Magemono is extremely light because no metals such as nails are used to make it. It is bound together with a long strip of bark from a cherry tree. It is distinct for qualities such as its durability increasing when dried.

The Hakata Magemono, which is made by making use of the straight, highly flexible wood grain from the Japanese cedar or Japanese cypress. The traditional wooden container which can endure the harsh conditions of nature, not only looks beautiful and has great durability, but is  a traditional craftwork that has made the best of nature’s power, which “keeps things cold during the summers and warm during the winters.” The crafting process requires a tremendous amount of work and time from saw milling to rift cutting, boiling it in water and bending the wooden board, binding it together with a bark from a cherry tree and placing the bottom... This requires highly skilled craftsmanship.

 


The Magemono preserves the taste of food, including rice, because of its special characteristic of being made out of wood, which absorbs excess moisture.

In addition, the trapped smell peculiar to bentos is not a concern because of its breathability, which is not the case with plastic or porcelain. Magemono made from plain wood, including Japanese cedar and Japanese cypress also has antibacterial qualities. Currently, its demand has declined because of an increase in materials such as plastic, but its great qualities have been enjoyed for a long time by Japanese people.

There is a proverb that goes, “Cranes live for 1,000 years, turtles live for 10,000 years,” which together means longevity. Pine trees don’t die down no matter how many years go by (personal relationships), bamboo plants continue to roots themselves firmly into the ground (human growth), and plum trees are the first to bloom and bear fruit while heralding the arrival of spring, which each represent personal relationships with high dignity and virtue. The Crane and the turtle in Japan from the proverb are often depicted. Also artworks which combine the pine tree, bamboo plant and plum tree are used during celebrations for auspicious occasions, including New Year’s Day and weddings.
This artwork has also been passed down through time.

 

The Magemono craftspeople still make Magemono in the same place in Hakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture, without change for five generations.

Two-stage lunchbox

■Material: Cedar tree
■Size: 95㎜×85㎜

Two layer bento box
Material: Japanese cedar
It prevents the rice from going bad because it is made from natural wood and it can be carried with ease because it is light.

A tree is alive. Please note that there is a possibility of it looking different from the picture.

Furthermore, it can be used in good condition for a long period of time if it is stored in a well-ventilated place at all times.

 

Price U$ 36 (sales tax including)

Quantity

Meshibitsu (3 cups)

Container to put the rice was cooked up.
■Material: Cedar tree
■Size: 130㎜×180㎜

Rice tub (3 go [approximately equal to 0.9918 m2])

Container for holding cooked rice

Material: Japanese cedar
It prevents the rice from going bad because it is made from natural wood and it can be carried with ease because it is light.

A tree is alive. Please note that there is a possibility of it looking different from the picture.

Furthermore, it can be used in good condition for a long period of time if it’s stored in a well-ventilated place at all times.

 

Price U$ 67 (sales tax including)

Quantity