When I was at the Las Vegas Furniture Market a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to meet with John Cribbs, VP of National Accounts for Cozzia massage chairs.
Did You Know?
I don’t know if you realize this, but Cozzia, Ogawa, and the new Fujimedic Kumo massage chairs all originate, to one degree or another, from the same factory in China. The factory used to be called EasePal but is now called Ogawa. Although Ogawa is a relatively new brand here in the USA, it is a well known brand and name internationally, as most of the chairs built at the factory are released internationally under the Ogawa name. Cozzia is primarily a brand for the North American market.
They released the Fujimedic Kumo massage chair for mass US distribution in the 4th quarter of 2018. It has been touted as “Made in Japan”, yet it looks just like the popular Cozzia QiSE, a 100% Chinese-made, 3D L-track model sold primarily in furniture stores throughout the US. There have been some doubts about the truthfulness of the “Made in Japan” label since most of us in the industry know that the QiSE is a Chinese-made chair. What about that model justified the “Made in Japan” label? Was it actual components made in Japan? Did the chair just ship through a Japanese port and have the label slapped on the packaging before heading for America? Did the chair even pass through Japan at all? These were the questions that myself and others had asked about the chair.
Well, when I met with John Cribbs in Las Vegas, I pointedly asked him about these issues and what, about the chair, justified the “Made in Japan” moniker. According to John, although many of the components were manufactured in China at the Ogawa factory, some components of the chair were, in fact, made in Japan. Also, the assembly of the chair was done in Japan, some programming, and the Quality Control (QC) all happened in a Japanese factory. To me, this sounded very similar to how Inada builds their chairs in Japan with a good portion of Chinese-made components, as well as Luraco’s chairs being “Made in the USA” with imported Taiwanese non-critical components.
Some other things John told me about the Kumo included the roller mechanism being the same as the Cozzia QiSE, that there are more Asian language options on the remote control than the Cozzia QiSE, and that the chair is not related at all with Fuji products. They are actually going to change the brand name from Fujimedics to JP Medics to make sure there is no confusion about a Fuji connection.
I have taken issue in the past with the veracity of the “Made in _____” labeling. It was always a bit muddled to me and not so easily cut-and-dried. The only chairs that I am aware of which are 100% made in one country are the “Made in China” chairs (which are about 99% of the chairs in the industry). Some of the massage chairs coming from Fuji Medical in Japan are touted to be 100% Japanese-made, i.e. Synca JP1100, Osaki Japan Premium 4.0, Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium, and the Osaki JP Premium 4S Japan, but I’ve not heard or seen definitively if that is true or if some components are made in China. If any reps from those companies have some input on this matter, please feel free to speak up in the comments section of this post.
I hope this helps!
Massage Chairs for Dinner
I saw this commercial and found it so funny that I had to post it (even though no massage chair is that violent!!). Enjoy!