• Mori Kibakoten Image

About Mori Kibakoten

The inside of Studio The exterior of Studio Working view Since its founding in the late Meiji Period, the Mori Kibako company has dedicated itself to the creation of wood boxes designed to hold porcelain. In recent days, the third generation (Hisami) and fourth generation (Hisatoshi) have expanded their horizons into creating wood crafts and wood boxes with original designs.
Their craftsmen use cutting tools sharpened to perfection to finish their wood boxes are carefully finished, and the results of their hard work can be seen in a clear difference in how their boxes’ contents age over the years. Mori Kibako also believes that the sign of a craftsman’s skill is not in how smooth the surface is, but in the evenness of the beveling of the corners.

Artifact Information

Artifact NameKyoto Joinery : Woodwork
History Koto Joinery refers to furniture, sliding doors, and equipment whose joints are designed to interlock, rather than being fastened with tools such as nails. It also refers to the method of making such items.
Kyoto Joinery was established during the height of nobility culture in the Heian Period, where it was mostly used by royalty and nobility. Its aristocratic origins are why the art is so focused on elegant and precise construction. In 1976, Kyoto Joinery was designated a traditional craft by the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

The Traditional Craftsman Profile

Craftsman Name
Hisatoshi Mori *The 4th generation
Born in Higashiyama Gojo, Kyoto.
Graduated from Kyoto Saga Art College Joined Mori Kibako Joined the Kyoto.
Joined Mori Kibako.
Joined the Kyoto Wood Craft Cooperative Association.
Joined the Kyoto Traditional Art Support Center/Traditional Art School Kyoto as a teacher
※Currently using TV and radio programs to spread information about Kyoto Joinery.
Introduction The biggest difference between mass-produced and bargain-priced products is, of course, the quality of the materials.
I think most people can see the difference with the naked eye. The difference in the maker’s skill is harder to identify, but you’ll find that crafts made by artisans using scrupulously maintained tools will keep their charm much longer.
When your precious children go out into the world, you want to give them the most fashionable clothing. And when you store your most precious treasures, you want to use real paulownia boxes made by top-class craftsmen exercising the utmost care.

Manufacturing Method

1. Drying the wood
All of the lye is expelled to allow the wood to dry.
2. Shaving
Bladed tools such as planes are used to shave away at both sides.
3. Carving/Pegs
The joining parts are carved with bladed tools such as chisels, and the wooden pegs are created.
4. Framework
The artisans fine-tune as they link the parts together one by one, then fasten them with pegs where necessary.
5. Polishing powder finishing
Polishing powder made from baked clay is dissolved in water, then painted over the entire surface, dried, and sanded.
6. Final finishing
The wood is given a protective burnishing with a wax made from secretions of parasites of the Ligustrum obtusifolium tree of the Oleaceae family.

Paulownia wood

The lightest of all the kinds of timber harvested in Japan, paulownia seems to “breathe,” maintaining its moisture levels, and prevents humidity and heat from passing through.
Because of this, it has long been used in Japan for drawers and boxes to hold high-quality works of art. 
In China, paulownia is regarded as a sacred tree and the home of the phoenix. In Japan, it has been adopted as the Japanese government crest on dress uniforms and medal designs.
Along with the imperial family’s chrysanthemum crest, it is used on official documents such as visas and passports as well as on money. It is also the official seal of the Japanese prime minister, and can be found on plates on the furnishings at his official residence.
※Put your valuables inside a paulownia box, then store the box in a safe.
※Paulownia is light and moisture-resistant, so it’s well suited to holding desiccated objects or things that can be damaged by humidity.

Finger Jointers

Finger jointers are specialized artisans who create interlocking joints for wood works such as drawers, shelves, desks, and brazier boxes.
They use many dozens of types of tools in their craft.

Location & Address

■ 森木箱店: Mori Kibakoten

Home page Signboard
Postal code
4-1 Kawatakiyomizuyakidanchi-cho Yamashina-ku Kyoto
Business hours
9:00 - 17:00
Sundays / Saturdays / National holidays