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Ito Inbou

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“Return it to nature after use”

During the Edo period, seal stamps became used by common people.
I heard that willow wood was used to make seal stamps at first. It’s very important to rethink the usage of natural wood more.



The seal stamp came from China. In the Edo period, common people started to use the seal stamp as a signature. The seal stamp is used as a signature on official documents in Japan. In 1947, my father started his business. Traditionally, the elder child was expected to work for the family business and I started to work for my father after I graduated high school. It’s a blink of an eye, it has been 60 years since then. I could continue working because I genuinely enjoy it. Now, I am thinking back, even if I think I had a hard time at the time, it still means that I will never lose what I have acquired.



I use Japanese boxwood for carving seal stamps because Japanese boxwood has the tightest grain. A long time ago, I met a craftsman who makes brooms at the craftsmen’s show and he said “I used to carve tea trees to make seal stamps”. My husband, who grew up in the countryside, said that there are some tea trees around his country home. He took cuttings from those trees and brought them back to me. I carved wood from that tea tree, and it was so much fun to carve with. That’s how I started to carve seal stamps on many different types of wood. Since I use a natural tree, it grows toward the sun and each tree is different. It’s fun because each one is different. Since it’s natural wood, we can bury it in the soil if we decide there is no use for it anymore. I like that my seal stamp can go back to nature. I believe it’s very important to rethink the importance of nature.



Seal stamps have been used on official transactions and documents such as for banks.
Recently, most official documents are digital, and seal stamps are not necessary. Many seal stamp makers have a hard time keeping their business and finding the next path to success for their business. So instead of carving an official seal stamp, I carve something playful such as portraits and whatever I like. I wish to continue free carving. Imagining what to carve, carving with my hands – that’s the ingenuity that I think is very important.



We have been carving seal stamps by hand. Nowadays, hand carving is rare, and some people find it interesting. Using your hands also uses your brain, after all, and that’s the secret to good health. I want to teach people how wonderful it is to make some things by hand. I have been teaching it to middle school students. Children have not had much
experience with making something with their hands. I think it’s really important. We offer a trial class. Please come to visit us to carve a seal stamp.

Our Values

Our values

ITO Mutsuko

Once-in-a-lifetime meetings – I believe they’re very important. Meeting someone is a gift from God. I would like to cherish those relationships. Because I have those feelings when I talk to my customers, they feel what I feel. Those customers become my regular customers and my word-of-mouth promoters. I am so thankful. So really, I am happiest now.