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© Noriko Tokumitsu
© Noriko Tokumitsu
© Noriko Tokumitsu
© Noriko Tokumitsu
© Noriko Tokumitsu

Shigeki Matsuda

Shigeki Matsuda Umbrella maker
Contact
Japanese
Hours:
Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Phone:
+81 762412853
© Noriko Tokumitsu

Umbrellas to last a lifetime

  • • Shigeki's umbrellas can be used for over half a century
  • • He is part of a very small community of Japanese umbrella makers in Kanazawa
  • • He carries out over 40 steps in creating a single umbrella

The rare and extraordinary art form of umbrella making is being continued by Shigeki Matsuda, who collaborates with local artisans like the National Living Treasure, such as Minori Yoshida. He is breathing a modern air into this traditional art. Established in 1896, Matsuda Wagasa is the last standing Japanese umbrella atelier and shop in Kanazawa, a city in the northwest region facing the sea of Japan. Japanese umbrella making flourished in Kanazawa where unpredictable rain and snowfalls are common. However, the craft all but disappeared along with the popularity of commercial western umbrellas in the early 19th century. This traditional method of umbrella making involves complex assembly procedures, each umbrella has a striking form even when closed. Once opened, they blossom into a world of magnificent colours and remarkable patterns.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Noriko Tokumitsu
  • © Noriko Tokumitsu
  • © Noriko Tokumitsu
  • © Noriko Tokumitsu
  • © Noriko Tokumitsu
Photo: © Noriko Tokumitsu
Kitamaebune (Northbound Ships)

This umbrella was painted by the local artist and ceramicist Takashi Kitamura. The Kitamaebune is a Japanese merchant ship with a single mast, that sailed between northern Japan and Osaka in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Height 88 cm
Diameter 118 cm

Photo: © Noriko Tokumitsu
Red half-moon

This umbrella shows a very traditional Japanese moon design in white contrasted with an off-centre dark crimson circle. Delicate shapes, that resemble maple leaves in green, red and yellow are playfully dotting the moon.

Height 76 cm
Diameter 127 cm

Photo: © Noriko Tokumitsu
Kitamaebune (Northbound Ships)

This umbrella is painted by the local artist and ceramicist Takashi Kitamura. The Kitamaebune is a Japanese merchant ship with a single mast, that sailed between northern Japan and Osaka in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Height 103.5 cm
Diameter 155 cm

Photo: © Noriko Tokumitsu
Wisteria cutwork

This umbrella shows wisteria cutwork designed on red gradient paper. The branch gently curls along the panels in the form of a half circle and gives a dramatic impression. It was painted by the second generation Hiroshi Matsuda of Matsuda Wagasa.

Height 76 cm
Diameter 127 cm

Photo: © Noriko Tokumitsu
A Procession of Geishas

This umbrella shows a procession of geishas, painted by Kenzo Tsuta, a local artist in Kanazawa city. Each of the six geishas are painted gracefully and with detail, and the vivid colour of their kimonos pop against the camel-coloured umbrella panels.

Height 76 cm
Diameter 127 cm

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