Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture accounts for 90% of Japan's share in the production of decorative shogi pieces.
It is said that the origin of this industry dates back to the Edo period, when the Tendo Oda clan encouraged the production of these pieces as an inside job to supplement their impoverished finances at the end of the Warring States period.
They became popular as lucky gifts to be sent on various celebratory occasions. Their company was established to mass-produce these decorative shogi pieces. However, with changes in housing conditions and the shift to nuclear families, the demand for ornaments has decreased.
Sama NEO was created with the desire to revive this traditional craft in the modern age.
The Sama NEO is made of paper wood from Hokkaido, and the letters are colorful, with six different colors. The size was also made compact so that it can be placed in a small space. The product name "NEO" means "new" or "revival," and is a wish for the revival of traditional Japanese craftsmanship and manufacturing.
Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture is located on the northwestern side of Japan's northeastern region, and is where the production of decorative shogi (Japanese chess) pieces accounts for 90% of the national share in Japan.
There is one of Japan's leading furniture manufacturers in the center of the city, providing an environment conducive to the production of wooden products.
They are polishing skills by processing furniture components as well as shogi pieces.