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About FDY (Furniture Design YAMANAGA)

FDY chairman and professor emeritus of Kyushu Sangyo University Kohei YAMANAGA was born 1942 in South Korea peninsula in the midst of the Pacific War. After a defeat of Japan. he repatriated to Japan with his family. At first they lived Oita prefecture where is his father's home village, during his early childhood, and after he moved to Fukuoka City he spent a boyhood.

He graduated from Saga University The faculty of Education selected Arts and Crafts. He took interesting in Arts and Crafts movement. During student, he thought furniture design should be started by hand works, in the future gYoufll bear good fruith. Since, he decided to accomplish his desire by continuing to make furniture by himself with hand work.

After graduated University, he had an experience of artisan in the furniture company at Fukuoka prefecture Okawa city where was famous for furniture makers in Japan. After one year, he started for new post in Kyushu Sangyo University Department of Design, he took charge of wood work subject. So he began to spend a lot of times for pursuit of the principle of Japanese plane and teaching how to use it to his students. Then after soon he began to make works to publish for an exhibition of Tokyo and international competition.

What is the best furniture design for Japan. He couldnft found in contemporary design. So he sought for Japanese universal beauty and etc. Eventually he thought we should learn from English Windsor chair which was said main stream of furniture design. But very little was genuine Windsor chair , only were seen in antiques. Besides there were few books writing about Windsor chair in Japan. On the home England, it genuine styles had changed by half of 20 century. But some of thoughtful investigators continued to study for so called English vernacular or country furniture and they were accomplished and published it in 1990. It was one year before when he visited Britain first time in 1991. He got these books for bibliography at Victoria and Albert museum. Then he could start to study for English Windsor chairs about true styles, and he had opportunity for making a survey of Windsor chair at V & A museum and after he made it with his students for teaching materials. 

Windsor chair was made in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth century as the chair for general public. English furniture was made for the privilege classes until seventeenth century.  On the other hand, chairs became to make by village craftsmen originally for use in cottage and farmhouse. That craftsmen was the withdrawn artisan from London in 17th century. It eventually formed handmade-production. Later years, as demand increased, many were made in factories and the processes were mechanized. Chair manufacture became a thriving business in late nineteenth century and in twenty century came to introduce of mass production. The outcome was a decrease in quality and individuality by hand work of artisan. After that Windsor chair styles had changed. Windsor chair styles of those days had disappeared by the half of twenty century

Nowadays Windsor chair styles spread all over the world and it is said one of the main stream of furniture design, but almost styles has became not true in those days. The genuine style of Windsor chair encompass the humanity of artisanf s hand work which was built up for many years and when we sit in it we feel comfortable and pleasant which improve our mind, all are latent within it.

When he was duty of professor of Kyushu Sangyo University he had a subject of study for analytic English Windsor chair Styles and he made several Windsor chairs from eighteenth to nineteenth century styles with his spirit of artisan for teaching materials, it took about 20 years. After retirement he started FDY workshop and he is continuing his work. And now he is making FDY original Windsor chairs using Japanese tools and Japanese wood work techniques. And he is doing remake his own Japanese new style furniture. 

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English Windsor Chairs (FDY's Collection)
About Gold smith Windsor chair