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Shibata Yoshinobu Shoten



200-year old natural cedar wood from Akita Prefecture used to make mage-wappa


Shibata Yoshinobu Shoten utilizes 200-year old natural cedar wood from Akita Prefecture, said to be the most beautiful of all cedar wood in Japan. The time-honoured techniques involved in crafting each piece by hand and the beautifully aged wood used in creating these products make mage-wappa (bent woodware) an artform in itself. While delicate in form, these natural and functional creations are durable enough to withstand frequent use.

Mage-wappa workshop in Akita Prefecture, northern Japan, operated by SHIBATA Yos

Mage-wappa workshop in Akita Prefecture, northern Japan, operated by SHIBATA Yoshinobu and his son Yoshimasa


Founded in 1966, this workshop in Akita Prefecture, northern Japan, is operated by Shibata Yoshinobu and his son Yoshimasa. Together they make mage-wappa, one of the most beautiful examples of Japanese woodcraft. The history of mage-wappa in Japan can be traced back nine centuries. During the Edo era (1603-1868), crafting mage-wappa was a side-job for low-ranking samurai.

The speciality

Practised and perfected in Japan for over 400 years, mage-wappa is the craft of bending and shaping thin sheets of cedar wood. Ranging from baskets and cups, to pots and bento lunch boxes, each product is created by bending very thin sheets of cedar tree, into the shape of the items. 

The final product

The second generation of the company, Shibata Yoshimasa, has paved the way for a new, more modern series of mage-wappa products, collaborating with modern designers to bring a fresh, contemporary edge to the brand. Mage-wappa products are made using the original method of bending cedar and securing with mountain cherry tree wood. The beautiful wood patterns make each product unique. The fragrance of cedar, combined with its smooth touch and natural colours, creates a feeling of warmth for the home. You can find a range of mage-wappa items by this father and son in The Shop at Japan House London.