Yamakawa Rattan was founded by Hichiro Yamakawa in 1952 in a storage room in the backyard of their home in Tokyo Japan. He started the business to create jobs for his two sons who were both hearing impaired. Both his sons were very apt in using their hands so weaving was suitable. Yuzuru Yamakawa who was fortunate not to have the handicap as his brothers was asked to join the company to help the family in managing the business. He studied at design school at night while working in the business during the day. His efforts and talent made Yamakawa Rattan grow to become one of the most renowned company in Japan specialized in creating high quality design oriented rattan furniture.
Rattan is the most ecological material that is available to us. Common knowledge dictates that cutting down trees from the rain forest destroys our environment and once cut, the trees will not grow back. One has to replant new trees and it takes many decades for a tree to mature. Rattan however, grows again and at a very fast pace. It can only be found in the rain forest as rattan needs trees for it to wrap on to reach for sunlight. This means that as long as there are trees in the rain forest, rattan will always be a sustainable raw material. This material can be found in the rainforests in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. There are so many animals inhabiting these areas, including the famous and endangered orangutans. These poor animals are losing their natural habitats by humans cutting down trees illegally for financial benefits.