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Profile: Matsuoka - Artifacts for Gracious Living


Profile: Matsuoka - Artifacts for Gracious Living

Chrysanthemum Cocktail Cabinet by Christian Lyon for Matsuoka.

Photo courtesy of Matsuoka
Matsuoka has been a family-run business since its founding in 1866 when its focus was on traditional bridal furniture. The company’s product roster has expanded greatly since its beginnings, but its focus on “superlative craft” has remained unchanged.

Modern Artifacts

Matsuoka takes its tagline of “Artifacts for Gracious Living” very seriously. Be it furniture for the home or work place, the company’s modern-day artisans honor the tradition of excellence that has kept Matsuoka in business for nearly 150 years.

One of the keys to this success is the high-end materials that go into each design. The quality of the rare and decorative woods, metals, stone and marble is immediately evident when faced with a Matsuoka piece. The company is also adept at taking its archival Japanese motifs and adapting them for a modern, global audience.

That said, the company assures its designs are not “'fusion’ in the conventional sense,” noting the aim is rather “to provide objects which are visually, tactilely and ergonomically correct in their own right, possessed of an intrinsic aesthetic and comfort, emanating from the proper selection of materials, well-conceived geometries, and the right proportions and scale, to meet a diversity of interior requirements.”


If the rarity of the materials isn’t enough, Matsuoka is a company that believes firmly in personalization. Each piece is made-to-order and the company works to accommodate individual preferences whenever possible. Dimension, selection of wood species and cuts, finishes, lacquer options, and leafing are all open for discussion. The company also works individually with designers to bring their own imagined pieces to life.

Christian Lyon for Matsuoka

Australian designer Christian Lyon’s line of furniture for Matsuoka does much to uphold the company’s status as a creator of artifacts. As the principal of Christian Lyon Design, Lyon draws on more than 30 years travel on five continents for design inspiration. It's a quality Matsuoka notes provides the designer with “an easy familiarity with multiple cultural influences.”

Lyon’s designs for Matsuoka – which include cocktail cabinets and meticulously detailed trunks -- utilize the company’s breadth of media, including rare and exotic timber, precious and semi-precious metals, and marble and stone from around the world.

More about Matsuoka

Matsuoka makes its case goods in Fuchu City, Hiroshima, Japan, and partners with craftsmen in the U.S. for the creation of its upholstered goods.
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