Of course, as a private company, we need profits, however it is not the only thing that we are looking for. It is the future. The future of Japanese tradition is what we really are seeking for.
Many of the Japanese traditional art crafts as industries are in the fatal situation. From constant declining sales for this twenty more years, the industries have shrunk significantly. It is the craftsmen, the core of the industry, that is decreasing and with very little successor. The average age of craftsmen are getting higher and higher every year. Unfortunately, we are almost certain that many traditions of Japan may diminish in the near future.
The fact is, that the impact from the shrinking market first comes from the supplies of materials and special handmade tools that are mandate for extra fine techniques that makes Japanese art crafts special. As an example, finest painting techniques on a lacquerware, maki-e (paintings using urushi lacquer and gold sprinkles) requires finest writing brushes. They are specially made maki-e brushes that are very fine, long with high elasticity and has good hold of urushi lacquer. The maki-e brush manufacturing, also a highly skilled craftsmanship work, can stand by itself only when you have hundreds of maki-e craftsmen. Therefore the highest quality maki-e brush craftsmanship work is diminishing in the current market. Only a couple of veteran maki-e brush craftsmen who can make the traditional brush rarely exists in Japan. Also traditionally the finest maki-e brush was made from central back furs of a certain mouse (Rattus rattus) that lived around Biwa-Lake in Shiga Pref. However the hunter for the mouse furs no longer exists and sadly the finest brush is no longer available. Currently maki-e craftsmen are carefully preserving the finest brushes that they have for the finest art work.
Japanese traditional fine art crafts industry requires many many areas and levels of professionals to stand by itself, like an automotive industry in these days. The business volume is one of the most important key issue for the industry to stand. Therefore, however very small a step, Kogei Styling is challenging to this situation, with a great help from potential Japanese lacquerware fans in the world, to widen the future market of the Japanese traditional art crafts, thereby our tradition can still entertain the future generations.