During the energy crises of the late 1970’s, a local artisan and craftsman, Henry Nakata Jr saw the need for an insulating Shoji screen. Considered merely a decorative screen, Shoji did not qualify for the generous energy saving tax credits at that time. Through extensive research and testing, Henry developed the SOLAR-JI, a versatile hi-performance Shoji screen. Now Shoji were not only beautiful, but offered the practical benefit of insulation as well.
In 1981, Henry Nakata Jr, a 3rd generation Japanese American launched Aspen Ten to produce the SOLAR-JI as its exclusive product.
Founded in San Jose Japantown, California Aspen Ten offers a full line of standard and custom Shoji products. Like much of Japanese culture (martial arts, Taiko, sushi, etc.) Shoji have gone from local community family-based culture to being fully adopted by mainstream American lifestyle.
Aspen Ten’s heritage values the material object as well as the often neglected ESSENCE of traditional arts, the non-material aspects. Designing with elegant simplicity Aspen Ten’s Shoji affirm the qualities of peaceful and serene.
The name ASPEN TEN comes from the duality of American and Japanese elements. ASPEN the tree of beautiful seasonal changes and TEN the Japanese word for heaven/stars.