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Commitment to Craft

Ino Zhèng Zāi splits wood at our campsite in Chiba, alongside Satoshi Yamane and Tadashi Mochizuki.
Inside the pie iron: Gruyère, Japanese milk bread, sliced okra, and ham, heating up for dinner.
Satoshi grabs a few winks after the campsite’s all set up.
Masaru Kawai, a woodworker and furniture maker, retreats to the woods of Gujō-shi in Gifu Prefecture whenever he needs a little inspiration.
Masaru learned his craft apprenticing under a furniture maker in Kyoto; now, he runs his business SOMA out of his own workshop.
“Trees contain the history and memories of the land...no two trees are the same. Through different woods, you’re able to see different worlds.” — Masaru Kawai
Ariko Inaoka and her family operate Honke Owariya, a 16th-generation Kyoto soba restaurant that it got its start as a confectionery shop in 1465.
Ariko’s husband, Sean Lotman, showed us around their neighborhood.
"It is because we have sustained tradition while changing with the times and taking on new challenges that we have a 550-year history. This is something I learned directly from my father and grandfather. I take seriously the responsibility of running the family business, never forgetting our history, and deepening our connection to Kyoto." — Ariko Inaoka
Rui Shimamoto joined the team in Japan as our videographer, documenting our adventures.
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Japan, September 2019

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg

In Japan, a dedication to craft elevates the simple to the sublime. Each choice is considered. Objects balance beauty and utility.
Tradition informs work, without restricting it. Quality is key. These qualities resonate deeply, and are why we went to Japan. The stories
presented here — from the outdoorsmen to the furniture maker and more — were an opportunity to test our products the best way we
know how: by giving them to experts to use in the field.