Meet Woodcraft Master, Tanno Norio - Part 1

Meet Woodcraft Master, Tanno Norio - Part 1

In our relentless pursuit of understanding true value, we embarked on a journey to Japan. Our quest was not just to find objects of beauty but to discover designs that resonate with our souls that we would cherish for a lifetime.

If you ask us why Japan, we’ll tell you there was something profoundly intriguing about Japan. Japan stands as a testament to the enduring strength of tradition. And during our journey, we stumbled upon a small wooden objet, its intricate design and impeccable craftsmanship piquing our curiosity. Who could have crafted such a precious item? Our search led us to the artist Tanno Norio from Asahikawa.



Visiting Woodcraft Master, Tanno Norio in Asahikawa, Japan

The way to Tanno's workshop was an experience in itself. Starting from the bustling city center of Asahikawa, a 20-minute drive through the neighborhood led us to the base of a mountain. As we began our ascent, we were enveloped by a forest path, its long, thin trees standing tall like sentinels guarding a secret. Emerging from this wooded embrace, we were greeted by an expansive rice field, its tranquility reminiscent of the East Asia countryside of my youth. Located in the northern part of Hokkaido, Asahikawa transforms into a winter wonderland, blanketed in pristine white snow. While we missed the snowy spectacle showcased on Tanno's website, the gentle drizzle creating ripples across the rice field was a sight to behold, calming our spirits and setting the tone for our visit.



The heart of craftsmanship: Mr. Tanno's workshop, where wood comes to life.


The Heart of Woodcraft

As we stepped into Mr. Tanno's workshop, we were greeted by a symphony of scents – the earthy aroma of fresh wood, the subtle tang of varnish, and the comforting scent of sawdust. Everywhere we looked, we saw masterpieces. Delicate wood scissors that seemed too beautiful to use, bags that were a testament to both form and function, toys that would surely become family heirlooms and cabinets that were a marvel of design and utility.


But what truly captivated us was Mr. Tanno's unparalleled passion. Watching him work was like witnessing a maestro in his element. Every stroke, every cut, every polish was done with precision and love. His dedication to up-cycling small pieces of wood, his ingenuity in crafting complex lock systems without a hint of metal, and his ability to bring out the soul of the wood in the tiniest of creations left us in awe.


Embracing the 'Monozukuri' Spirit

As our visit drew to a close, we sat down with Mr. Tanno, sharing stories and insights. It was then that we truly understood the 'Monozukuri' spirit – the Japanese concept of craftsmanship where the maker pours their heart and soul into their creation. It's not just about making an object; it's about giving it life, character, and soul.

Our journey to Asahikawa was not just a trip; it was a pilgrimage to the heart of craftsmanship. As we left Mr. Tanno's workshop, the objects we held in our hands were not just products; they were stories, emotions, and a piece of Mr. Tanno's soul. We realized that the true value of an object is not in its price tag but in the love, care, and passion with which it is made. And every time we touch or use one of Mr. Tanno's creations, we are reminded of the 'Monozukuri' spirit and the hands that crafted it.

Next time, we would like to walk you through each of the amazing works we witnessed at his workshop.

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