Kazuhiro Wakatsuki


Susudake are smoked bamboo rafters from above the hearth of tradition Japanese thatched roof houses. You can feel the natural polished texture and story of those who lived in these houses for over few years.All Komon’s Susudake products are made from Japanese Susudake, from Okuizumo Shimane prefecture; where famous for Tatara and Japanese mythology story. The chopsticks can be used over a lifetime, where they will become smother and polished with daily use. 

Rare natural smoked “Bamboo”

Since BC 3000 the sunken hearth of thatched roof houses were used in the living area to cook food and warm Japanese homes. The smoke from the hearth slowly turns the bamboo framework a dark brown as well as drying and stabilizing over few hundred years of use.The bamboo framework; Susudake products come from bamboo that is only taken when the house is torn down, it holds over  a few hundred years of history from the families that lived in these houses.The Susudake products come from holding over few hundred years of history from the families that lived in these houses.By using the old bamboo from thatched roof houses which could end up as waste, Mr.Wakatsuki breathes new life into Susudake products instead of cutting fresh bamboo, helping to make a sustainable world, however thatched roof houses in japan are decreasing every year making the Susudake increasingly rare.​

Across four generations to Wakatsuki 

若槻和宏 Kazuhiro Wakatsuki

Susudake chopsticks craftsman; Mr.Wakatsuki was born in Okuizumo in Shimane prefecture one of the biggest abacus producing cities in Japan.From the time of his great grandfather, Mr.Wakatsuki’s family made abacus using rods made from Susudake to hold counting beads.Over time the demand has fallen and Mr.Wakatsuki decided to continue using susudake in a new way making new products in his home town Okuizumo Shimane, famous for steel making and Tatara culture as well as the sacred place with the "Yamata no Orochi Legend" from mythology.

Check The Arts and History

The Appeal and Challenge of Natural Materials

The Susudake Chopsticks are made from high-strength Susudake, which was originally used for the frame of abacuses. Susudake is a durable material that is used for the framework of thatched roofs, and is smoked for several decades to a hundred years, slowly and carefully, making it very strong and tight. While Susudake can also be smoked for a short period of time to add color, Wakatsuki only uses naturally colored Susudake that has been colored by nature from being used in thatched roofs. One of the advantages of using natural Susudake is not only its strength, but also the fact that the color is natural, and depending on where it was used, there may be markings such as rope scars or bamboo stalks, making each chopstick unique.

However, using natural Susudake is not all positive. Since it has been used as the framework for thatched roofs for decades to over a hundred years, it may have insect damage, and not all materials can be used. Wakatsuki explains that selecting the right material is difficult, as it may not be clear whether the bamboo can be used until it is split.