A new departure in karaki butsudan
The manufacture of butsudan (Buddhist altars) may call upon skills of carpentry, metalwork, lacquer work, mounting and more – and is hence known as a unified work of craft. It is also renowned for variation in form and size according to region. While each county has its own style of altar, the types can broadly be divided into “painted altars” known for their finish with materials such as lacquer and gold leaf, and “karaki altars” which deliver their expression in wood. The butsudan (altars) of Tokyo have their own style within the second category. Karaki is a wood in ebony and rosewood, that is rare in its hardness. So hard in fact, that it cannot be pierced by nails. To shape it, a firm right-angled file is used together with other specialist tools. As nails are little use, the structure is often achieved with skill in joinery. Put another way, it is something only a highly skilled craftsperson can construct. Hiroshi Fukuda of the Fukuda carpentry works, together with Kiyoharu Oda at his butsudan workshop, are two such craftspeople, who over the course of many years of struggle with their material have developed great expertise. With almost 60 years experience each in the making of altars, they share an enthusiasm for bringing their skills to new applications and items for life. The work of the pair in this area, is opening new avenues in the world of Tokyo butsudan.
Oda Karaki Butsudan Seisakusho
(Inside of Fukuda Mokkosho)
3-24-3 Yashio, Midoricho, Saitama 340-0808
TEL +81-48-996-3888 (Fukuda Mokkosho）
Hiroshi Fukuda (Fukuda Mokkosho)