As I recently purchased a watch box from Toyooka Craft, it was only fair that I learn more about the company. I reached out to Mr. Toru and he was more than happy to share the history of his company to me.
Toyooka Craft Co. Ltd. is a wood-working company founded in 1969 in Hamamatsu. They used to produce organs, drums, and pianos for Nihon Gakki (now YAMAHA) during its inception.
The company constructs metal-free products using the “kumi-ki” method. This method allows pieces to be fitted together with the help of special cutting and polishing techniques.
Quoted from the brochure, “One of our special techniques is based on meteorological principles our founder studied at university. This allows 0.1mm increments in construction including taking into account the repeated maximum expansion and contraction of wood of 0.5% in hot or humid environments”.
Question and Answer
How did the name Toyooka Craft come about?
“Toyooka” is the name of small place in Hamamatsu. That name remains only as an elementary school now.
Do you still manufacture organs, drums, and pianos?
How did you end up transitioning into stationary?
My grandfather established the company after retiring from YAMAHA. He brought with him the technique of making music instruments as he was a top craftsman of YAMAHA.
When he established our company, he started making clock frames for SEIKO. Eventually in 10 years, my father who was an engineer of satellite at NEC came back to the company. My father thought it was a waste to throw away end mills after making clock frames so he started to develop making stationery.
However, we don’t make clock frames for SEIKO anymore as about 30 years ago, SEIKO moved the production to China from Japan.
Is there any special reason why the company was set up in Hamamatsu?
Because my grandfather was from Hamamatsu and the head office of YAMAHA is in Hamamastu.
What did you use in making my watch box?
We use American alder for our products.
Do you have any personal favourite stationary that you have created that you use daily?
I use a business card case made of Hinoki.
Do you wear any watches? If so, what is it?
I use Zenith, Junghans, Citizen, Swatch , Knot (cheap Japanese watch) and so on.
I want to thank Mr. Toru for taking the time to answer my questions. You can read my review of his watch box here.