The Essence of a Chair


The deadly battles of rebellions against authorities have just begun. The famous ones of the rebellions are Google, Apple, and Sony; those of the authorities are Toyota, Volkswagen, and Renault. It’s about the battles over EV market share. I’m excited just as an audience to watch the battles because I believe the basic design or structure of cars is highly possible to change drastically. The great change in the power source of cars finally freed engineers and designers from the problems of heat, noise, and vibration from engines, which I expect will create electric cars with exciting design completely different from that of gas-powered cars.

I’m positive about this change in the car industry for the above reason, but not always positive about any changes. For example, I miss salmon crates. Hokkaido (our hometown) has a lot of salmon, and salmon was shipped in a wooden crate before. The wooden crates with the colorful logo marks of fishing companies were a good reminder of the end of the year, but they were replaced with Styrofoam containers. The point is, regardless of whether it’s fine by me or not, both won’t be back to the market again. It can be interpreted that engines don’t form the basis of cars (some of the car enthusiasts wouldn’t agree, though), and that wood is not a required element for the salmon crates.

As viewed in this way, furniture, especially chairs are different from them. I know there are some popular chairs made of plastic, but wooden chairs are still mainstream in the market. That means wood is thought to be the key decision factor to choose chairs. Our hometown in Hokkaido is surrounded by the mountains with abundant forests, and we use oak and ash from the forests to make furniture. In that sense, our chairs made of local beautiful wood deserve a little bit better evaluation in the market, hopefully.


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.


Photo Credit: https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/02/08/apple-predicted-to-announce-apple-car-partnership-in-the-first-half-of-2021


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