Magemono is a container made of thinly shaved wood such as Japanese cypress or cedar, bent into a circular shape and sealed with birch or cherry bark. They are produced all over Japan, from Kyushu to Tohoku regions, using wood that is easy to process in each region.
Odate Magewappa, made in Odate City, Akita Prefecture, is the only one of the various types of magemono products found throughout Japan that has been designated as a traditional craft by the government. It is a curved object made of Akita cedar, and the word "wappa" originates from the Ainu word meaning "wheel."
It was about 1,300 years ago that magemono were made from Akita cedar. It has been used for such a long time that it has been found in ruins from the mid-Heian period. In the Edo period, the Satake Nishi family, the lords of Odate Castle, focused on the natural Akita cedar in their territory to relieve the plight of their poor neighbors, and encouraged the low-ranking samurai to work at home.
One of the most typical items made with magewappa is the lunch box. At the time when lower-ranking samurai focused on the production of magewappa, it was mainly used to make daily necessities, and magewappa lunch boxes in particular were devised in a form that was easy to use depending on the occupation, such as a large round shape for farmers, a koban shape for merchants, and a ship's lunch box with a string thread for sailors.
Odate Magewappa is characterized not only by the fragrant aroma and beautiful grain of Akita cedar, but also by its excellent functionality. The hygroscopicity of cedar prevents food from spoiling by absorbing excess moisture from the rice, and its high heat insulation properties allow it to maintain its temperature regardless of the outside temperature. This keeps food from getting damaged in the summer and from getting cold in the winter, keeping food tasty and well preserved.
Kurikyu, one of the manufacturers of Odate Magewappa, has been in business since the Meiji era and is known for its reliable technology and sophisticated design that has won many Good Design Awards. The natural Akita cedar used in Kurikyu's magewappa is considered one of the three most beautiful forests in Japan, 200 to 250 years old, with fine tree rings, straight grain without knots, luster, and durability.
Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Boxes are coated with urethane only on the outside so that they can be used for a long time. The inside is unpainted white wood, so you can enjoy delicious rice with its moisture absorption and insulation properties. The inside of one tier of the two-tiered lunch box is also coated with urethane, so it can hold side dishes with oil. While taking advantage of the characteristics of magewappa, the lunch boxes are designed with the user in mind.
In addition, the unpainted lunch boxes that we have asked to be made for us are unpainted wood inside and out, so they will change with time.
There are a variety of painted and unpainted, ladies' and kids' sizes to choose from, so please choose the one that best suits your needs.
Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Box
Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Box (Unpainted)