Okinawa Tourism Information:Metalartworkswithwarmth“LITTAIMETALWORKS”(Part1)

Metal art works with warmth “LITTAI METAL WORKS” (Part 1)

post : 2017.03.22 07:00

One of the things I have noticed since I moved to Okinawa is that people here tend to do things with own hands rather than having someone else do it. I've seen some non-farmers change vegetable fields to the rice fields. And, I know many people who are really good at do-it-yourself chores.


Another thing about Okinawa I would like to mention is that there are many small organizations or individuals that create a variety of things. Yachimun (Okinawan pottery), Ryukyu glass, woodworking and various other creative fields have many examples of Okinawa's skilled craftsmen. I know people who create knives from car suspensions, make salt from seawater and one who invented a small kiln with power generating system.


“It may sound strange, but I always liked drawing pictures,” said Kenji Nakachi who is one of those local artists. His creative skills and working extensively with tough, cold  metal he can create delicate objects such as custom made kitchen utensils that are beautiful, functional  and appreciated by anyone familiar with creative works.


Kenji makes things on order, for various shops, offices or individuals. His works are popular for their simplicity, usefulness and ease of maintenance.

Masaki Nakachi of LITTAI space works designed a house, currently under construction in the Yanbaru area. He is Kenji’s younger brother. The house is being built for a family who will be moving to Okinawa soon.


True Blue is a shop and pet hotel located in the forest in Motobu Town. It is known for the loving grooming services provided to animals. Masaki designed the work/housing space. The kitchen and the living room were designed by the Nakachi brothers, who strive to make external and internal areas too showy so that the people living there can stamp their own personalities onto them.


Kenji who loves art graduated from high school and modern art school, TSA, in Tokyo. During his time working with several employers, he realized the difficulties of making a good balance between working and making the things he loved to make. So, he decided to start his own studio.


“When I look back of my ten years in business, I think I’m finally getting closer to my ideal life,” Kenji said. “In the beginning, it was hard to do my own thing while making a living. But, I have been focusing more of my passion on my artwork for the past few years."


Both his experimental and the completed artworks are displayed in his studio and office. They look like a collection items on a scrapbook. Nakachi’s favorite steel is iron. Iron tends to be affected by environment easily and so the ‘expression’ of the material changes. That is the charm of iron for him. Iron looks simple and strong, but it is quite sensitive. He likes two faces of iron.


The object in the office seems very fragile but it is impressive. When he starts a project, he draws, plans and solves issues over and over to complete the process.


The airplane piece looks like it’s flying up and down on the wall. His artwork seems alive. Actually, this airplane could be a vine or even some kind of insect.


The lampshade was an experimental piece for a shop about ten years ago. It is simple, but the balance between the diameter and the height and the angle from top to bottom are perfect.

“Metal is usually for industrial use, but I enjoy shaping it into works of art,” Kenji said. His creativity can turn even solid steel into something with warm heart.

I would like to introduce you to his artwork for sale in Part 2.

Address: 1-5-26 Akamichi, Ginowan City, Okinawa
Tel: 098-893-8218
Hours: 9:00-18:00
Closed: Sunday

 Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Noriya Fukuda