Tubs and barrels accommodate various sizes and uses, from small ones for drawing and storing water at home to large ones used for brewing sake and soy sauce. These tools for daily life are rooted in Japanese culture.
Tubs are created by the stave crafter who makes the material (the wooden boards called staves) and a cooper who uses the staves to complete the tub or barrel. The stave crafter discerns the wood’s individuality, scrapes it by hand to bring out the life in its expression, and hands the staves to the cooper who performs the next process. The tub is constructed by combining the staves to form the sidewalls, then circling these with hoops.
The bottom is set in place, and the hoops are firmly tightened to complete the work. Fitting the staves without gaps is done through high skills and repeated careful polishing. Today, plastic tubs and barrels have become common, but historic wooden ones, constructed sensibly as tools, can be used for a long time with repairs.
Oke’s material is Yoshino cedar, one of the three most beautiful kinds of wood of Japan. With a beautiful grain, Yoshino cedar is also popular as a building material. It has been planted for about five centuries for use in tubs and barrels and is cultivated to yield a straight and dense grain with few knots.
This product develops the tub, a tool found in Japanese life, into the domain of furniture.