Now, wooden frames for eyeglasses

Tokyo, April 6 (IANS/EFE) Made by hand and only of wood, the frames for prescription glasses made by Japan’s Yoshihisa Yabuuchi are a gem of craftsmanship and design that are available for some 1,200 euros ($1,540), but only after two years on the waiting list.

The meticulous Yabuuchi works in the family optician’s store in the northern city of Fukushima, a business that goes back 137 years to when it began making the exclusive frames to order.

“I have 32 orders, but have only been able to deliver 18 up to now, which is why there is a two-year waiting list,” the designer, who takes more than a month to make each frame while serving customers at his optician’s shop, told EFE.

Wood has become a notable trend among opticians, while big brands like Capital, Shwood, Gold & Wood Paris, Herrlicht and W-Eye have taken it up as well.

So too have large luxury firms like Louis Vuitton and many small designers worldwide, but what makes those handmade by Yabuuchi unique is that they are made only of wood, with no glue or metal elements incorporated.

Yabuuchi is a person committed to his city, devastated in March 2011 by the earthquake and tsunami that set off the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

The designer tells how at the time he had to flee his home in Fukushima along with his wife and child.

His family has not yet returned but Yabuuchi decided to do so quickly to revive the family business and keep commerce in his city alive.



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