Promotion of forestry has a very long history in the area around Yamanaka giving abundant access to timber. Wood blocks were shaped into objects by using turning tools first operated by hand, water and today by electricity. The turned goods now being made in Nagiso include various kinds of bowls, tea caddies, Japanese style containers and coasters. Most objects are coated with transparent Japanese lacquer, which enhances the natural beauty of the wood's grain.
The company GATO MIKIO was established in 1908 and carries the name of it's founder. Since the early the craftsmen worked based on the principle to enhance the natural beauty of bare wood. Advancements in technology allowed to increase precision and to design forms that were almost impossible to make in the past.
GATO MIKIO nowadays works with young designers to create fresh and contemporary objects that still inherit the founder's spirit on focussing on wood's natural beauty. Many products won awards for the their outstanding quality and design. Awards include GOOD DESIGN AWARD and the GERMAN DESIGN AWARD.