Fujimedic Kumo Notes..and more!

Lined up Kumo massage chairs
Lined up Kumo massage chairs

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.

Made in Japan? Really?

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!

 

Las Vegas Furniture Market – Inada & Cozzia Visit

Las Vegas Furniture Market event
Las Vegas Furniture Market event

Las Vegas Furniture Market

Last Wednesday I flew to Las Vegas to attend the bi-annual Furniture Market. I went with the intention of visiting the Inada booth to try out the new Positive Posture Brio L-track massage chair, which I did. I also saw that Cozzia had a booth there too, so I dropped by to check out the Cozzia Qi and the new Cozzia QiSE. Although it was hotter than blazes in Las Vegas, the experience with the massage chairs was quite beneficial.

I had recently ordered the new Brio massage chair from Furniture For Life (FFL), the parent company of Inada USA, Positive Posture, and Panasonic USA, for both of my showrooms, but was eager to sit on this latest creation from the mind of Cliff Levin, the President of Inada USA and FFL. I suspect that since L-tracks and foot rollers are all the rage in the massage chair industry, and since no Japanese massage chairs have those features, Cliff took it upon himself to find one for his company. And, find one he did. He outsourced the manufacturing of the chair to a reputable factory in China but much of the nuance and specs of the chair came directly as a result of the input from Cliff and FFL. The  resulting product, the Positive Posture Brio, was impressive to me.

I spent my time at the Inada booth with Ian Hays and D’Ondre Black. D’Ondre gave me the chair demo with explanations of the chair functions, while Ian and I talked shop about the industry and business. They were great and made me feel right at home. Thanks fellas!

It is a 3D L-track massage chair with a similar feel to what you would come to expect from an Inada product. The overall feel of the chair was very good, reminiscent of a Japanese-made chair. It was a relatively quiet chair and the quad rollers offered a good, intense spinal massage. We will have our floor models in our showrooms this week and I will then be able to offer a more detailed and meaningful review. You can check it out, along with features, specs, and images, here on my website…

Positive Posture Brio massage chair

Cozzia Qi massage chair
Cozzia Qi
Cozzia QiSE
Cozzia QiSE

My visit to Cozzia was equally as enjoyable, as I chatted with John Cribbs, Vice-President of National Accounts for Cozzia. I finally got the chance to see the Cozzia Qi and their first L-track chair, the new Cozzia QiSE. The Qi was being used for some company videos so I couldn’t sit on it, but I did get a chance to sit on the QiSE. It is a good L-track with some cool functions. It is also a pretty sharp looking chair. The Qi is a special looking chair and I was told that within 60-90 days it will come packed in 3 boxes instead of 1, so that now it will fit into pretty much all doorways (which it can’t do currently because of it’s 36″ width). Hopefully we’ll have one or both of these chairs in our showrooms within the next month or two.

Great visit this last week with some great people. Stay tuned for detailed reviews in the near future.

Dr. Alan Weidner

P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.