Furniture made of domestic coniferous wood fits modern Japanese lifestyle.
Designed with a "Masu" conception, the furniture creates a deep emotional
connection with people.

MAS is a furniture collection made of domestic coniferous wood such as cypress. The planted forest of coniferous trees centered on Japanese cedar and cypress occupies approx. 10 million ha within Japan's forest area that expands over 25 million ha. Conifers were once planted in large quantities for reconstruction after WWII. Even during the cutting season, they are not well utilized due to competition with imported timbers and transitions of lifestyles.
 Wataru Kumano, the design director of MAS, created furniture to convey the beauty of plain cypress, through the conception of "Masu", a Japanese measuring box. Masu is based on high-quality craftsmanship and a succinct structure. MAS furniture also has a clean appearance with its plain color and grains.
 Coniferous trees are relatively softer and lighter than broad-leaved trees. Furniture making requires robustness, so these trees are generally considered unsuitable for furniture material. However, MAS overcame this barrier with Karimoku's technology and structure. MAS is the fruits of the blessings of Japanese forests and modern creativity.

Essential form enhances the advantage of coniferous furniture.
It is shared with my design taste.

The starting point of the project MAS was when Karimoku asked me to think of the "standard" of their Japanese furniture. The standard means neutral products that can fit any environment and can embody the ideas of Karimoku. After many discussions on the issues that Japanese forests and wooden furniture face, we decided to utilize domestic conifers, especially cypress, which suffers from low demand even though there is a sufficient amount of them. Conifer wood is generally too soft to guarantee the strength and fine process needed for furniture. However, I thought Karimoku's technology could make it happen.
MAS means」apanese "Masu" made of solid wood with careful technology and has a strong bond with the Japanese people on a genetic level with things such as Japanese unique sake drinking sets. The motif was suitable for the coniferous furniture made by Karimoku. It also stands for "mass" to indicate mass production realization beyond the difficulties of using coniferous trees.
Broad-leaved wood is hard enough to add elaborate careful modeling to furniture, but coniferous trees such as cypress are for a succinct form. The way of thinking for MAS is shared with my design taste. I want to make MAS in the image of a well crafted mallet. We require mallets to have a firm grip, a comfortable feel, and a solid function rather than a beautiful appearance. It is one of the ideal designs that I am seeking.

Compared with European wooden furniture manufacturers, Karimoku has a relatively higher potential with their technical quality. Speaking of wood, European people are sensitive enough to understand the quality of Karimoku. I think I don't need to emphasize it. I want MAS to make a stir in the world of European furniture through its Japanese technology and sense of style. As Scandinavian furniture makers'products are widely accepted all over the world, Japanese furniture makers can also seek a big market share.
The MAS lineup has expanded from dining rooms, such as tables, chairs, and stools, and now it is moving toward living room items such as shelves.
Overseas designers are being welcomed to join the collection to expand the collection world view in the same context. We expect designers who can share the idea of wooden furniture and understand MAS.

Currently, I feel the great significance of making furniture from wood more than ever. Considering the environmental issues, designers should avoid using non-reproducible materials for making products. In that sense, wood has great potential as a material that returns to nature. Since it is a living material, we can make unique furniture from it. Until just recently, it was important for furniture making to focus on how the grain and color were uniformed, but now the difference and unique expression are valued as individuality. This is another point where I feel there is a large potential in regards to trees.

Brand director
Wataru Kumano