Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yoshinobu Shibata, master of Magewappa making

Yoshinobu Shibata, at the age of 75, a reviver of the lost functional art, Magewappa bento box making.  He's been creating the impressive wood pieces of Magewappa for more than half a century.

The trigger was that one day, he saw an old Magewappa box in a museum and was deeply impressed with its beauty.  It was a lost art and there was no one making it.  But its beauty so deeply reached him that he decided to stop his career and become dedicated to its revival.

Yoshinobu Shibata with some of his pieces

He learned by teaching himself by reading ancient books and experimenting over and over.  Not just restoring the technique, he has been further evolving it.

The main business operation has been taken over by his son, Yoshimasa, but he is still active in his creation and he comes up with the new ideas of Magewappa items.

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