Hello. My name is Takuya Funaki. I am a jeweler, Native American flute player who loves jazz music. My love and appreciation for the Native American culture is the inspiration for earthlodge.
I admire the craftsmanship of great Navajo artists such as Harry Morgan, Howard Nelson, and Thomas Curtis. I specialize in turquoise because it’s such an exquisite and beautiful stone. Turquoise is the center of focus of all my designs. I handpick each stone to ensure the quality of each stone stands out, making each piece unique and special.
Growing up in Japan, I always had a passion for arts and music. I wanted to be a jazz musician, but in the 1980’s plans changed after reading a very powerful story about the Lakota Holy Man( Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt). Inspired, I moved to the Midwest and became the first international student to study Native American culture on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota and the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana.
In Montana, I met master beading artist, Joanne Big Crane. I trained with her to learn all about beading and porcupine quill work techniques. I was fascinated with traditional Native American beadworks, especially the Northern Plains style from Sioux, Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan, and Cheyenne. To further my studies, I also learned to play the Native American flute and performed a series of musical events with Native American artists Kevin Locke, Roberta Mirabel, and Ulali.
I began creating my own beadwork soon after returning to Japan in the early 1990s and spent the next several years learning about Native American rituals and ceremonies. During that time, I also volunteered as a youth counselor on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation.
The earthlodge shop and original website was launched in 1998 to showcase Native American jewelry, art and music. It immediately became a popular destination for Japanese consumers to discover the rich and diverse lifestyle, customs, beliefs, and art forms of the Native Americans.
In 2011, shortly after the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, my family and I relocated to the U.S. Since then, I continued to broaden my knowledge of Native American culture and learned how to silversmith. In 2017, I started to create my own line of Native American inspired jewelry. The relaunch of the eartholdge brand is truly a dream come true. I hope you will be touched and inspired (as I have been) by the magnificent beauty and power of the turquoise stones. And may you find that one special piece that speaks to your heart.
Head over to Instagram to see my latest creations!