handpicked

A Man of Deeds in The Deep Forest

'Chabudai' Table by YOUBI

Dedicating 50 years now to foster
our forest beauty 50 years ahead...


Nishiawakura village is located northeast of Okayama prefecture in the deep abundant mountain forest area right along the border of Tottori prefecture. 95% of the village is blessed with rich woodland supported mainly by forestry and agriculture industries. In 2009 a new project called the "Nishiawakura Village 100 Year Forest Plan", brought fresh array for the sustainable future of the land and village. The idea is to nurture existing mountains with greater maintenance enabling consistent top quality wood supplies to create furniture for life. For this to happen, the village town hall committed to managing the entire forest in depth together with the clear aim to realize a low carbon society. The village has been officially classified as the "Environmental Model city" in Japan to lead the future of forestlands. In efforts to enhance awareness and actual usability, the town hall and village established a workshop and school concept facility called the "Nishiawakura Forest Village".



Creating great wood furniture is
what keeps the forest happy


Not long ago, there was a brave furniture craftsman who decided single handedly to move to Nishiawakura village when he learned about the "Nishiawakura 100 Year Forest Plan" in 2009, having no doubt that this was his mission to undergo for life. We managed to find the determined man, now 34, Masayuki Oshima founder of "Woodcraft Atelier Youbi", residing in an old traditional Japanese house restored beautifully with his own hands just below the deep mountains in Nishiawakura village. How did he come to this calling? After graduating University he went to train in Takayama, Gifu prefecture as a furniture craftsman. Through his hard training and being raised by his father who was a respected carpenter, he naturally realized that his dedication to preserving Japanese cypress is how the forest can continue its precious cycle of life.

"I fell in love with this village and my role is to create the finest furniture from the mountain blessings..." as he continues expressing with enthusiasm. "I create furniture from the trees that are blessed to us and look back at the healthy mountains I supported. It's hard work but I know I'm doing the right thing for our nature. And this is exactly the kind of environment I wanted to work and live for" speaking softly with confidence somehow making us understand that he in fact was called for from the mountain spirits. We take a deep breath and appreciate the fresh cypress aroma surrounding the atelier with tender ambience.



Cypress furniture with design
by Woodcraft Atelier Youbi


Japanese Cypress also known as Hinoki is uniquely Japanese which grows within mainland Japan from up north in Fukushima prefecture spreading down to the south end in Kagoshima, Kyushu prefecture. Hinoki was used for the making of the world's oldest wood architecture, Horyuji Temple in Nara prefecture, which pretty much embodies Japan's fine wood culture. Inspired by this masterpiece, Woodcraft Atelier Youbi spent almost two years studying all possible characteristics of Hinoki. They succeeded to integrate the best of Japanese, Scandinavian and American wood framing techniques to perfect their original framework and developed natural paint to give each piece a genuine finish.


 


  

Episode 2

Hinoki Windsor 

'Windsor Bench' by YOUBI


The Windsor Lightness of Being


The Windsor chair transited through England, on to the U.S. where it refined its style keeping its popularity around the world until today. Its simple and sophisticated design with deep wood color is what has been the typical look and feel. Mr. Oshima accomplished to recreate such a worldly famous chair into a light and bright finish maximizing what the precious Japanese Hinoki material can offer, a completely new approach to the Windsor chair history. “This approach could surprise the world perhaps even more than the Japanese that the Windsor can actually be made so lightly.” Mr. Oshima was determined to achieve his dream which now can proudly be introduced as the HINOKI WINDSOR.



 



Product details

Chabudai


A four legged round table made out of Japanese cypress by an artisan craftsman to be enjoyed for life. Chabudai uses quality Japanese cypress which strengthens its durability over time. You can easily stand the table by flipping the table over and lifting the crosspiece . With its light weight and foldable legs, and round top enabling to role sideways, makes it convenient to put away when not in use or change places.

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ITOSHIRO WINDSOR


The ITOSHIRO WINDSOR is YOUBI’s first wooden seat product as Mr. Ohshima wanted to accomplish the ultimate soft feel that wood can offer. Measuring how the bottom fits into the seat and plane along the Hinoki wood surface, results with an incredible fit. Together with the soft nature of Hinoki wood, we were utterly impressed of the new sitting experience so comfy and cozy!

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AKEBONO WINDSOR


The essence of a typical Windsor chair which is the spoke, round foot and crosspiece is delicately kept while the form as a whole achieves minimalist beauty. Not only the form but the actual lightness has been challenged to its greatest applying hand woven paper code seats. This makes the AKEBONO WINDSOR chair being made entirely out of wood. In the times that we can take advantage of the blessings from Hinoki in luxury is what makes this unique state-of-art Windsor chair truly special. We are honored to share with you what was mostly found as an antique chair now newly designed in style.

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WINDSOR BENCH TSURANE


This bench sits two adults comfortably yet is created light enough for one person to handle. TSURANE is the result of devoting every effort and time to come to its perfection of what can only be accomplished by hand. A skillful process that wouldn’t be chosen if it was for mass production. Together with the fine finish of Hinoki, another YOUBI artifact is now in the reach of our hands. And lastly, the spacious seat gives us a hammock feel calling for time to unwind.

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