Historically kimono and futon products had a similar operating process in the fact that both businesses run on a made-to-order system. It was also not uncommon that a kimono store to also sell futons as a part of its business. At the beginning of the 20th century, the leading kimono merchants started expanding itself and turning into department store. It also resulted with the inclusion of other businesses inside. Soon after, instead of ordering products in-store, it became a common practice for businesses to display their ready-made products that are immediately up for sale. Around the same time, Takaoka Futon Co., Ltd. was started as a bedding manufacturer for a well-known department store, Kyoto Daimaru (now known as Daimaru Kyoto) and started supplying the people of Kyoto with futons and cushions. Shingu (寝具) was the word that was used to represent Takaoka products back then. It was a combination of the kanji character 寝 which means sleep and 具 which means tool.
Entering the 21st century, due to western influence the traditional Japanese lifestyle has started to change. Takaoka Futon Co., Ltd. also started to reevaluate and adapt to the changes that occurred. As a company Takaoka Futon Co., Ltd. wanted to find and create products that fit modern life and made it suitable for the Japanese people. From that, the Takaokaya brand was born. From futons and traditional zabutons, Takaokaya has moved on into a new direction towards creating a product to fit modern Japan with Gorone Futons, Shiki Futon, and the iconic Ojami Cushion. From the traditional Shingu, Takaokaya has shifted in the direction of Kangu (寛具). The kanji 寛 which means relaxation, combined with the word 具, which means tool. Kangu was created to represent Takaoka Co., Ltd.'s new product category which are meant to be a source of relaxation in day to day living.
寛具 (かんぐ) or 'Kangu' in roman letters is a word created by Takaokaya specifically to describe the essence of our products. The kanji character 寛 was taken from the word 寛ぎ（くつろぎ - kutsurogi which means, 'to feel relax' or 'to feel at ease'. A feeling that we wish is felt by our customers when using our products. It is the core value of Takaokaya as a company, and the reason why we do what we do is to provide relaxation and a smile to everyone that encounters our products. The character 寛 itself has a meaning of 'relax' and 'generosity'.
The kanji character 具 which is taken from the word 道具 (どうぐ - dougu) which is used to imply to a tool or instrument. The character 具 itself carries the meaning of 'tool' or 'utensil'.
Combined together forming the word 寛具 (かんぐ) that generally means 'relaxation tool', which to us describes Takaokaya's products quite thoroughly.
With this word, we would like our customers to know that we are here to help bring smiles to everyone's faces by helping them create a more relaxing and peaceful environment to surround themselves in.
The stuffing stage is one of the most important parts of the production process. It does not only determine the comfort level of the finished products, but it is also what allows the product to keep its integrity even with frequent use. Our skilled craftsmen are concern with the longevity of their creation, so they would like to make sure that even in the future, each product is still as comfortable as the day it was made.
This concern to detail is especially important for Takaokaya's ability to create custom made products. To make sure that we capture every detail of our customer's vision and transform them into reality.
During the making process, a Japanese hand stitching technique is used to create the illusion of an invisible seam. To produce a beautiful result, this requires the technique to be applied and adapted to suit a variety of different materials. This stitching skill can only be gained through experience of handling various fabrics and understanding the characteristics of each materials.
At the end of the production process, striking the cushion is essential. This step is done to make sure that the cotton filling can spread evenly. Middle stitches are applied to the center of the cushions to keep the cotton filling in place. It requires precision and a gentle hand to pass the needle through the same location back and forth through thick layers of cotton. The side tassels are also beautifully functional, as it helps prevent the cotton from coming out from the side of the cushions and finished with a trickly little ball knot on each tassel.
Tel / Fax
+81 (0)75-341-2251 / +81 (0)75-341-2255
242 Kintoyokocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8331, Japan
09:30 - 17:30
(closed on Sunday, public holiday, and some Saturdays).