In Tajimi, Gifu prefecture, “The Suzuki Tile Company “Nanayousya” founded in 1949, is a company that makes Minoyaki Tiles. They have a long history, with their roots in creating construction materials.
Minoyaki companies, which are in reference to the tile industry in general, have huge differences between peak season and off season. “Nanayoushya” has the same situation as well, and it has led to hard times managing the company.
To cope with the hard times, Koji Suzuki was hired on to become the third Chief Executive Director.
It was due to external influences, that he was forced to come on board during the off season.
So his first decision was to break away from the tension that was plaguing the industry, such as the quiet off season periods.
He thought that this situation would be a good opportunity to create an original brand because people are still in need of tiles and it is a very busy industry, so the pressure to produce is driven by more than his own self-satisfaction.
He has developed a strong desire to create the tiles that resonate to people individually.
He has the desire to see the smiling faces of his customers with their own ideas for the tile’s production. He keeps in mind that the production should be rooted in both the strength and tradition of the techniques of Nanayoshya and what people have come to love and demand over the years.
So he started to do marketing research to hear people’s opinions on the matter. While he pursued his ideas, he met lots of local designers for opportunities to also hear their ideas.
After compiling the market research, he realized that the same way “tiles decorate spaces”; he can ensure that “tiles decorate people”. He made a decision that making a decoration for people to design themselves was going to be his new big challenge.
It wasn’t easy to make accessories with pottery, using “tiles”, however with his in depth understanding of the properties of clay, and the features of pottery, along with his long experience, he knew they could make it and be successful.
Accessories convey original and unique expressions
From 2014, “a young ceramic artist“, and a “long term expert with skills” could create success. They began to sell their accessories that were a blend from both worlds.
The young ceramic artist, whose name is “Minami Nonomura”, from her brand name “Maremono”, which is a brand she designed and created herself.
Maremono means individually unique, and each accessory she has created is one of a kind, and has been created with her mind, body and soul wholeheartedly.
“Kamamoto” means the pottery which is originally created by craftsman at each pottery place.
Nanayosya is a brand name created by blending “Kamamono” which is designed by “Minami Nonomura”, and created by master craftsmen at Nanayoshya.
They also have a lineup of other original accessories which are made from local designers.
All accessories are handmade and using the Minoyaki technique.
Each accessory has Japanese exquisite skill and beautiful quality which would be a one of a kind original item, made in the Chubu area.
His future strong aspirations
He told us that he wants to make people happy around him with his work and activities. He is totally determined and his ambition can’t be stopped by anything or anybody.
Now he has prepared for “Maison de objet” in 2020.
“Maison de objet” is the international authority for home decors and interior designers in Paris, which occurs twice a year. In France, it is great for art, culture, and is a great event for the country.
That’s why he will attempt to display his work but he is not sure that his traditional skills will be accepted in France or not.
He knows that it is his highest purpose to try to expand his efforts and share it with the world so that people can get to know accessories with Japanese tiles which also have original creativity, and to share them with foreigners to make them happy.
We would like to support his these aims.