TOKYO Teshigoto

Sato Sculpture

Edo Moku-Chokoku (Wood Sculptures)

Carving to bring happiness.

At the age of 15, Iwakei Sato entered the world of Edo Moku-Chokoku (wood sculptures) and has since spent over 60 years working with wood. He has carved architectural sculptures, furniture and doors, crest signs, Noh masks, Buddha statues and various other objects that decorate the pillars and columns of temples and shrines with his chisel. There exists an expression of “warm wood”, though Mr Sato’s wood sculptures possess both “warmth” and “gentleness”. When the chisel is applied to a lump of wood and a shape is given to it, marks from the chisel remain. Mr Sato thinks that these chisel marks is where the “warmth” and “gentleness” resides. “When carving my wood sculptures, I always hope that those who see my work will experience happiness” says Mr Sato, for him the chisel marks faintly remaining on the wood act as a messenger that convey this thought. For Mr Sato “the most important thing in work is the study of the human condition”, he accumulated experience in this for over 60 years, and is still studying daily. Hoping to bring happiness to someone through the use of his skills, today again he is facing lumps of wood and aiming for new heights.