Kesao Ito runs the family business Okekazu in Agematsu, Nagano Prefecture, which uses traditional cooperage techniques to make wooden barrels and buckets (oke) for water and food, as well as solid wood bathtubs and basins for Japanese hot spring spas (onsen) and bathhouses (sentō). His father, Kazuma Ito, took him on as an apprentice in 1975 to teach him the art of making oke. Takumi Ito, the third generation, completed his woodworking trainingat the Agematsu Technical College in 2012, and continued his apprenticeship for several years in Kyoto with the well-known oke workshop Nakagawa Mokkougei. Since 2016 he has been working in the family business to deepen the subtleties of oke production.
The onsen buckets and bathtubs are partly created in collaboration with contemporary Japanese designers, for example Ryu Kosaka of A.N.D. and Tree to Green.
Agematsu, Kiso, Nagano Pref.
Hinoki, sawara, kōyamaki
Buckets, barrals, bathtubs, interior objects