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An upholsterer breathing new life into chairs redefines Japanese craftsmanship

Creating true value by sparing no effort in a constantly painstaking process

An upholsterer breathing new life into chairs redefines Japanese craftsmanship

“I want to breathe life into my creations.” Shintaro Nakata, chair upholsterer

Naice, an original furniture store also offering chair upholstery and repair services, burst onto the local Nara scene in 2014. The owner, Shintaro Nakata, says, “I do things analog because today the norm is for mechanically manufactured furniture. I want to work with chairs and other furniture by taking a meticulous approach, always.” When he repairs a chair or replaces fabric, Shintaro says, “I do everything I can to make the item into something I think is more beautiful than before, such as by applying thicker fabric.” Although at times he must be flexible in fulfilling customer requests, he holds to an unwavering conviction that “I will never spare any time or effort in any task, and I will never do a shoddy job.” Shintaro’s studio feels alive. The chair of many legs is one example of how he creates furniture that transcends conventional norms.

“I want to make furniture that will become antique 50 or 100 years from now.”

Shintaro uses the chair-making skills he developed from repairing excellent items to create original chairs. “I connect springs with thread, stuff the cushioning, and assemble the frame to give a chair its form.” Just as he says, there are many steps in fashioning a chair. Among them, stuffing the cushioning and tying the threads, which are steps that determine comfort and form, are very challenging ones that require the chair builder to employ one’s senses. There is no hint of doubt when Shintaro says, “No matter how difficult the work feels, I love it, so I can always find a way to enjoy it.”

A desire to share his craft and the wonder of chair making with interested young individuals

The thing that attracts Shintaro to chair making is that “there are no design limitations. Apparently, there are few chair upholsterers in Nara Prefecture. “Now I’m thinking about teaching others to do this work, and I want to create a place where young people or others who are interested in chair making can come and learn about it.” Shintaro’s next goal is to give form to the passion he feels for the local area. His coming feats will certainly be worthy of more and more attention.


naice~the upholstery shop~
9:00 - 18:00 (reservation recommended)
20-3 Minamiuoya-cho, Nara-shi, Nara Pref.


naice~the upholstery shop~
naice~the upholstery shop~

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