Periodic thinning of trees by lumbering is necessary to maintain a forest. The status quo is that most of this thinned lumber is not utilized, but “Earth Furniture” is a movement to make good use of this timber and to protect forests.

“Earth Furniture” suggests “Local production for local consumption,” which means producing furniture in the area where the forest is located, to get local people to use it, to return it to the earth when they can no longer be used, and to create a cycle by cultivating a new forest.

“Earth Furniture Sado” is furniture made on Sado Island from Sado-grown cedar. It includes study desk-and-chair sets for use from childhood to adulthood, and office furniture for use at the workplace or home.

Earth Furniture Sado

Sado Island has an image of abundant nature and living traditional culture, but being an isolated island, the population continues to decrease due to its geographical location. As a result, the forests are wasting away because of the decline in use of forest resources. Also, the aging population and a lack of successors are causing a crisis situation in which there is no one to learn and uphold traditional skills on the island.

“Earth Furniture,” a project that employs woodwork craftsmen on Sado to create furniture made of thinned cedar from Sado, is designed to bring life back to the hills near communities, activate their economies and teach children about the environment. By having parents and children build and use the furniture together, our goal is that they will learn about nature and traditional craft, and in turn come to love the land and culture of their region.

Desks and chairs made with steel parts are often used at home and in offices, and when they are no longer useable, they end up as waste that is difficult to dispose of. However, wooden products can be comfortably used for a long time and then returned to the land entirely at the end of their use.

We will create an environment that lets all people, from children to adults, easily recognize that their desks and chairs used every day, are made in their local area of timber from their local forest.

Earth Furniture designer Makoto Shimazaki visits Fukaura Primary School on Sado Island

2003 Exhibition on Sado Island

Benches in the waiting room at Ryotsu Port Sado Kisen Ferry Terminal

Product Concept

  • Create daily-life equipment using local materials.
  • Forge ties between craftsmen and users.
  • Cultivate minds that think of the importance of having products that can be used for long time.
  • Make people look after their very own, unique equipment.
  • Make a place to learn (desk and chair) that supports your growth.


Local Production for Local Consumption

Local production for local consumption: produced locally for the community.

Local Production for Local Consumption

Planning and Production Staff

Planning Proposals

  • Kodo Cultural Foundation


  • Makoto Shimazaki (Professor Emeritus, Musashino Art University, Tokyo)

Assistant Designer

  • Masakatsu Nakano (Assistant to Makoto Shimazaki)

Technical Advisor

  • Tsuyoshi Sekihara (Common Facility Coop Woodwork Advisor)


  • Junji Saisu (Joinery craftsman)

Supporting Organizations

  • South Sado Forest Owner’s Cooperative
  • Fukaura Primary School
  • Common Facility Coop Woodwork
  • NPO Ki to Asobu Kenkyujo

Sales Agency

  • Kodo Cultural Foundation


Kodo Cultural Foundation

Kodo Village, 148-1 Ogi Kanetashinden, Sado, Niigata 952-0611, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)259-81-4100
Fax: +81-(0)259-86-3631
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