Thursday, October 1, 2015

Magewappa Master 1 - Constant Invention

Magewappa master, Yoshinobu Shibata, having run his company, Shibata-Yoshinobu-Shouten (shouten means store in Japanese), has now left day-to-day work, after having made Magewappa since the 60's

Now the company is taken care of by his son, Yoshimasa Shibata, but he is still active.  He is constantly inventing new Magewappa products and travels to exhibit them in Japan and the wider world.  In the last few years, he had exhibitions in Japan, flying from Odate in Akita to many other cities in Japan quite frequently.  In addition, he has had major exhibitions in Paris and Helsinki.

This has been his regular work since the 70's.  His purpose is to demonstrate Magewappa making at department stores.

His recent work is a box to keep the umbilical cord of a newborn baby.  In Japan, this is a traditional keep-sake and families normally keep this in a high quality wooden box.  It is believed that an umbilical cord has the special power to protect the growth of a child, as it did when he/she was in the mother's belly.  The lid is marked with the Asian year animal of the year the child was born.

In part 2, I will describe his typical scene at one of his demonstrations.


  1. It is eye-pleasing, this Magewappa craft..I hope to own one when I moved to a bigger apartment. ( so there is enough space for drying stuff like bento-boxes)

    1. Thank you Chieko! It does make a difference when you have such a great craft work in your life:-). I hope you'll experience it in the near future.