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!

 

Pre-Owned Massage Chair Directory Update

clearance sale
clearance sale

On our website, we have a page dedicated to listing previously owned massage chairs. These chairs can include those returned by customers during our very generous 90 day return/exchange policy, floor models, refurbished chairs, or clearance chairs from the massage chair companies.

The chairs that are listed on this directory are always priced far below retail advertised pricing and usually include the remainder of the factory warranty (and any extended warranty originally purchased by the previous owner). We always include free shipping as well as our Peace of Mind Lifetime Labor Warranty with each chair posted on the directory.

Because of the low pricing and the benefit of the transferred warranty, these chairs usually sell quite quickly once they are posted. If you are looking to save money and are happy with a 1-3 month old chair (older if it is a floor model from one of our showrooms) that is in pristine condition, this is a very affordable and money-wise way to go. Check back regularly to see what we have going on. We didn’t have any for sale in April because nothing was returned, but I am seeing a few come in over the next week or so.

Here is what we have available:

  1. Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium – This is one of the Japanese-made chairs that Osaki has
    OS-4D Pro JP Premium
    Osaki OS-4D JP Pro Premium massage chair

    imported from Japan. It is not even a month old in usage and is in like-new condition. It is a chair that will give you 15+ years of life as well as a very low failure rate (<1%). Japanese workmanship, design, and engineering are evident in the smooth feel of the roller massage. It is well built and very solid/sturdy. It has 4D rollers, which provides a depth adjustment of the rollers to make your massage more or less intense, as well as 43 airbags to cover the rest of your body. 10 auto programs give you plenty of options for varying massage experiences. The remainder of the 2 year parts and labor warranty is intact and free shipping is included, not to mention our Peace of Mind Lifetime Labor Warranty. It is black in color and assembly is very easy. The chair retails for $4995, but we are letting this one go for only $3495.

  2. Osaki OS-7200H – This chair is a month old and is being returned to our California showroom this week. It was hardly used and is in near perfect condition. It is a perfect chair for the shopper looking for a good chair without too many bells and whistles. It is priced right at $2495 (regular price of $3795) and includes the remainder of Osaki’s 1 year parts & labor warranty and comes with our Peace of Mind Lifetime Labor Warranty. It is brown in color.
  3. Inada Flex 3S – This is our showroom model and is also brown in color. This is from the famous,
    Inada Flex 3s
    Inada Flex 3S massage chair

    well-made, Japanese built Inada massage chair family. It’s strong point is quality of build and feel as well as a fabulous stretch feature. It is normally $4299, but we are letting it go for only $1999! Yes, that’s right, a Japanese chair from Inada for only $1999.Free shipping and Peace of Mind Lifetime Labor Warranty included!

You can go to our Pre-Owned Directory at the following to learn more about these chairs and purchase one if you are so inclined. You can also call us anytime at 888-259-5380 if you have more questions about these or any other massage chairs.

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.

Massage Chairs Roller System: 2 Rollers vs. 4 Rollers

Quad Rollers
Quad Rollers
Roller Track
Roller Track

Pretty much all massage chairs that are not 100% airbag chairs have a roller system. The roller system goes up and down the spine, from the neck down to as far as the buttock muscles. The roller system consists of a roller track, one or two roller arms, roller “balls”, and an engine to move the roller mechanism up and down the spine electronically.

The roller “ball” unit is attached to the end of one or two massage arms, which in turn is attached to the track and moves up and down the spine. The roller “balls” come in either dual or quad arrangements. Dual rollers alludes to 2 rollers, one on each side of the spine, that do all the massaging. Quad rollers, or 4 rollers, have two rollers on each side of the spine. The roller balls work as a unit to go up and down the spine simultaneously to simulate massaging hands working the muscles on either side of the spine symmetrically.

Until recently, each ball moved in concert with the other ball(s); the pressure was equal on both sides of the spine. The new Inada Nest is the first massage chair to have the balls on either side of the spine work independently of each other for varying pressure depending on the tightness of the muscles on each side.

I want to talk about the difference between the dual and quad rollers. The vast majority of massage chairs have quad rollers (2 on each side of the spine). A relatively small group of chairs have the dual rollers, i.e. Luraco iRobotics 7, Ogawa Smart 3D, the Osaki JP 4S and 4D models, Apex Regent, and  the now discontinued Navitas Sleep from Human Touch.

Quad Rollers
Quad Rollers

My experience of the two types of roller systems is that the dual rollers tend to be more aggressive, providing a deeper, more intense massage experience, while the quad rollers have a lighter, broader contact massage. You would think that more rollers (4) would give a more intense massage than less rollers (2). This is not to say that the quad roller system doesn’t offer an intense massage. Many 4-roller massage chairs do provide exactly that, but the dual roller system seems to dig a bit more into the spinal muscles. Let me explain why:

The roller track is fixed in an S shape. The roller arm is

Ogawa Smart 3D
Ogawa Smart 3D

what protrudes from the track into the spinal muscles. The force that “transmits” from the roller arm onto the roller balls and then into the muscles is dispersed among the roller balls. The greater the number of roller balls, the greater the dispersion of the massage force among the roller balls. The smaller the number of roller balls, the less the dispersion of the massage force. All the force and energy of the roller mechanism is channeled through two balls instead of four, which makes for more force going into the spinal muscles.

This is why chairs with dual rollers tend to feel more aggressive, as though the rollers are digging deeper into the spinal muscles. It is because the massage force and energy from the massaging mechanism is directed through only two roller balls.

If you sit on a chair with quad rollers and then sit on a chair with dual rollers you will notice a couple of things about the dual rollers:

  1. the rollers feel like they are digging deeper into the musculature, and
  2. you will feel like the roller massage is much more specific and localized.

If you prefer a deeper, more intense massage you may want to consider checking out a chair with dual rollers. Although quad massage chairs, particularly those with 3D roller depth adjustment, can still offer a very intense massage, it will never quite feel as deep or as intense or as localized as those with the dual rollers.

I hope this made sense!

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.

 

Two 100% Japanese-Made Massage Chairs!!

Japanese-made massage chair
Japanese-made massage chair

stock-photo-13142341-japan-flagPursuant to my article last week about where the massage chairs are made, I’d like to chit chat with you about two new models from Osaki that are truly 100% made in Japan.

You may be wondering what the big deal is about whether a chair is manufactured in Japan vs. China vs. USA, but for discriminating massage chair buyers, it is a BIG deal!

Here are the main differences, and they all have to do with the quality of the chair build:

  1. Japanese & American chairs will last 15+ years; Chinese manufactured chairs will typically last up to 10 years.
  2. Japanese & American chairs have a less than 1% failure rate, whereas Chinese chairs have a failure rate from 2-5%…and that can even be higher if the chair is manufactured in a smaller, lesser known Chinese factory.
  3. Quality control is greater in the Japanese & American factories.

I will review the only American-made chair of consequence, Luraco’s iRobotics 7, next week so that you can get an idea of what a US chair is all about. But, for today’s post, I want to talk about two models that are truly 100% made, manufactured, and assembled in Japan.

As I mentioned in my earlier article, just because a chair box says “Made in Japan” or “Made in USA” does not mean that 100% of the chair is made in that country.

Osaki has introduced two new models to the US market that are manufactured 100% in Japan. The chair models are made by Fuji Medical Instruments Mfg. Co., Ltd, which is one of the oldest massage chair manufacturers in Japan and, thus, since massage chairs began in Japan, one of the oldest in the world. As a matter of fact, the first commercially-made massage chair with a roller track originated from this company.

One of the models, the Osaki-JP Premium 4S, is currently the #1 selling massage chair in Japan. The other model, the Osaki OS-4D Pro Jp Premium, is an older model that has become quite popular with customers looking for the Japanese-only massage chair. The 4S is a new model that we should be getting in our California showroom later this week. Of course, I will record some video of that chair for our YouTube channel.

The naming of these two models seems kind of weird, since they are quite similar and have been somewhat confusing for not only our customers, but also us!!

Here is a list of the primary features of each chair, for your perusal:

Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium

  • OS-4D JP Premium
    OS-4D JP Premium

    4D Massage Rollers – I’ve talked about the term “4D” before, and how I think it’s just a marketing term, but the gist of it is that the rollers can move forward and back to increase or decrease the intensity of the roller massage. That’s what’s known as 3D. It also has a roller speed adjustment, and that’s what the 4th D is all about. The rollers are dual, not quad, rollers but are quite sophisticated and can give the user a very intense massage.

  • 43 Airbags – Plenty of airbags available to provide compression massage to those areas of the body where the rollers can’t reach, i.e. seat, arms, hips, waist, shoulders, feet, and calves. I like the way the Japanese chairs, including Panasonic and Inada in the discussion of this point, use the airbags in concert with the rollers to affect a very therapeutic massage. It really contributes to the feel of a whole-body massage.
  • 10 Auto Programs – This chair provides lots of versatility with it’s 10 pre-set, auto programs. Each of the 5 main programs have a stronger version, known as KIWAMI MECHA courses. Inada has something like this, too.
  • Versatile Masssage Rollers – The dual rollers, referred to above, can provide various modes of massage to effect different therapeutic benefits for your muscles. Just because it has 2 less rollers than most Chinese chairs, in no way means that the massage experience is compromised. As a matter of fact, in some ways it can be better since the rollers can dig deep without the lower two rollers inhibiting that motion. But, my guess is that you would never know the difference between the dual vs. quad roller thing if no one told you which chair has which rollers.
  • Body Scanning – They call it the 3D Navigation System, but what the scanning system does is map out the shape of your spine to give you the personal and accurate massage. Not just measuring your head and shoulder position, the scanning system actually maps out the topography of your spine. Pretty cool stuff.
  • Easy Remote Control – The remote is quite intuitive and easy to use. Nothing fancy though, in terms of touch screens and smartphone-like usability.

Osaki-JP Premium 4S

  • OS-JP Premium 4S
    OS-JP Premium 4S

    3D Massage Rollers – This chair also has adjustable depth 3D dual rollers that can move 12.5 cm forward and back through 12 different positions. Although they didn’t call it “4D” rollers on this model (all the model numbers are getting too bloody confusin!!), this chair still has the roller speed adjustment to make the massage experience feel even more vigorous.

  • 43 Airbags – Also 43 airbags in this chair, covering pretty much the same areas as the 4D. Unique to the 4S, this chair has a hand-kneading air cell massage, plus all of the airbags offer a pulse mode to enhance and promote circulation as well as a more traditional/normal compression massage.
  • 16 Auto Programs – The auto programs of the 4S includes four 30 minutes PRO programs, five 7-minutes coures, and a bunch of 16 minutes localized auto program. It also has a full-body stretch program. I haven’t used this chair yet, so I can’t really tell you how cool or different the programs, but they certainly sound interesting.
  • Dual Masssage Rollers – The dual rollers offer a sophisticated kneading function that provides 85 kinds of techniques! Not sure how that feels, but, again, I’m looking forward to experiencing the roller system when the chair arrives at our showroom.
  • Contemporary Body Styling – The 4S improves on the older body styling of the OS-4D Pro JP Premium, with nicer lines and a simpler, more modern body design.
  • Shoulder Blade and Feet Heat – The area between the shoulder blades is typically tight and fatigued in todays computer-driven workplace. While most massage chairs offer low back heat, the 4S offers heat in the shoulder blade area to relax the musculature to allow the rollers to dig a little deeper and give a more therapeutic massage. Reflexology points are also warmed up with sole warmers.
  • Touch Screen Remote – This chair comes with the more traditional rubber buttons, but also has a screen display that will allow touch screen convenience.
  • Memory Function – If you like a particular program that you’ve created with your new chair, the chair can memorize that program, including chair position, roller and airbag intensity, roller modalities, and speed. So, the next time you sit in your chairs, and want to enjoy the program you created earlier, just push the memory button and you are on your way!

Well, I hope that helps! You are invited to visit our Southern California showroom, where we have both models on display. Feel free to call the showroom at 562-865-4607 and chat with our massage chair experts.

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.

Where Is Your Massage Chair Really Made??

luraco made in the usa
luraco made in the usa

luraco made in the usaThe headline of this post alludes to the confusion that can come from trying to figure out where each massage chair model is made. There is so much hullabaloo about a chair being made in Japan or the USA vs. a chair manufactured in China. Typically, we understand that Japanese and American-made products are of a better quality than their Chinese-made counterparts. I am in agreement with that statement, and the numbers bare that out (Chinese-made chairs have a life expectancy of up to 10 years, a failure rate of 2-5%, and typically a 1 year parts & labor warranty. Japanese-made chairs expect to last 15+ years, have a failure rate of <1%, and come with a pretty standard 3 year parts & labor warranty).

Well, when speaking of being “Made in ____”, it may surprise you to know that it is not as simple as being made in one country. Let me explain…

When we talk about the making of a chair, we need to consider a few things, i.e. 1.) where the design and engineering of the chair is done, 2.) where the parts of the chair are made, and 3.) where chair is assembled. In some cases, all three components of the manufacturing process are done in 3 different countries.

china-flag-1444024 Most chairs, nowadays, are made in China. The design and engineering, manufacturing of parts, and assembly are all done in China. The Ogawa chairs, for example, are 100% made in China. Most of the Osaki, Titan, Apex, Omega, and Infinity chairs are made 100% in China.

But, did you know that some of the non-critical components of the Inada DreamWave chair are made in China, too, although it is rightfully claimed to be made in Japan? Did you know that the Luraco iRobotics 7 chair is an American-made, designed and engineered massage chair, but a minority of it’s non-critical components are made in Taiwan? Did you know that the new Navitas Sleep chair from Human Touch was designed and engineered by the Americans and Japanese, but the components are manufactured in Taiwan and the assembly of the chair is done in China? Furthermore, did you know that all the other Human Touch massage chairs are designed and engineered in America, but manufactured and assembled in China?

Panasonic is a Japanese company and their chairs are designed and engineered there, but all production and assembly occurs in Chinese factories. I don’t know what the situation is now, but in the recent past the factories in which the Panasonic chairs have been manufactured were Panasonic-owned factories so that the Japanese parent company could still have complete quality control.

stock-photo-13142341-japan-flagIt might surprise you to know that at the time of this writing, there is only one brand of chair that is 100% designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled in Japan? That is the Fujiiryoki chair, one of the oldest massage chair companies in the world. Osaki carries a privately labeled Fujiiryoki model and it is called the Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium.

So, have I confused you? I know I was sure confused when I first started learning about all the nuances of what it means to be “Made in the USA”. When Luraco first introduced their line of chairs as being made in America, there was some pushback because a few of their non-critical components were manufactured in Asia. I found out, soon thereafter, that even Inada’s famous DreamWave, touted to be made in Japan, has some Chinese-made components in it.

Manufacturing and/or assembly in China is cost-effective. Cheaper-made product ultimately costs less to the end user…that’s you and I. So, companies have tried to integrate China or Taiwan in some of the process of making a chair to keep costs down across the board.

By they way, why can a chair like DreamWave say it is made in Japan when some of it’s components are manufactured in China? Or why can Luraco say their iRobotics 7 is made in America when some of it’s components are made in Taiwan (Taiwanese products are known to be of a better quality than their Chinese counterparts, in cases you were wondering). You may be asking yourself these questions. I know I did.

All I can say about that is that each country has it’s own guidelines as to what constitutes the term “Made in _____”. I suspect it is slightly different for each country. Below is a video recently released by Luraco that specifically addresses the “Made in the USA” standard. I hope you find this helpful.

If you have any questions about any model we carry or any other model out there, feel free to contact me anytime by phone, email, or chat. I am always at your disposal.

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.

Quick Hits: IT-8500 assembly vid; iRobotics news; Showroom update

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rss-icon-1-970189-mInfinity IT-8500 Assembly Video (from one of our customers)

I received an email from one of our customers who recently purchased an Infinity IT-8500 massage chair. He was kind enough to put together a brief, 1-minute video showing the arrival, unpacking, and assembly of the chair when it came to his home. Great job! I loved the background music. This video is so much better than the ones I put out! Thanks, Tim. Check it out here… Continue reading “Quick Hits: IT-8500 assembly vid; iRobotics news; Showroom update”