Gato Mikio was founded in 1908 in Yamanaka Hot Spring, a town famed for wood turning. Following the intentions and spirit of the original kijishi wood-turners, the company has dedicated itself to preserving the craft of woodwork and lacquerware by creating timeless and functional tableware that accentuates the beauty of natural wood.
Currently a 4th generation family business, Gato Mikio has embarked on new mission of partnering with contemporary designers to blend authenticity and craftsmanship with unique yet functional designs. Their efforts led to numerous industry awards including the German Federal Design Award (2012) and Japan’s Good Design Award (2016). You can find some of their works online at the Spoon & Tamago Shop.
In line with their legacy as originally a woodworking plant, they work with only the best quality wood for their work including Cherry Birch and Japanese Zolkova Elm. And each piece is skilfully handcrafted from a single piece of wood.
In 2017, Gato Mikio opened their first flagship in Yamanaka Onsen called GATOMIKIO/1. If you are in Ishikawa prefecture you should definitely stop by to see first hand the company’s dedication to keeping Yamanaka lacquerware alive. Of course you can also purchase some of their works online.