Japanese Hakone Yosegi Himitsubako puzzle boxes or Karakuri boxes (Secret box, Trick box) for purchasing in Tokyo

Updated on 15th February 2018  Japanese puzzle box is a general term to describe various types of boxes which you need to do something to open like sliding, spinning, hitting etc. Himitsubako (Himitsu means secret and bako means box) generally indicates those specific boxes which are traditional puzzle boxes with yosegi marquetry covering them and they can normally…

Ando Ryosuke Carved White Porcelain with gold and silver

I personally love his beautiful porcelain, which is simple but intricate. He does not use mold for these carving series, so each of them has slightly different shapes and that is what makes his works so special about. These are small palm size vases, which we call Ichirin-zashi (which literally means a vase for a…

Travel to Hiroshima, Miyajima and Iwakuni

Happy New Year! I hope you had nice Christmas and new year holiday with your family. New year in Japan is like Christmas in Europe and America, so  many stores are closed and we generally spend the time with our family visiting our local shrine and temple after having Osechi ryori (we prepare special meal…

Notice of winter holiday

  Please note that we are going to be closed for the winter holiday from 31st December 2017 till 4th of January 2018.     We will be open for business as usual from 5th of January.     We are looking forward to seeing you in 2018!    The vase on the photo is my favorite…

Hagoita decorative wooden tray 羽子板のトレー

Hagoita (羽子板)is a rectangular wooden paddle to play Hanetsuki (羽根つき), which is similar to badminton, but without the net. It is a game where two players hitting shuttlecocks which are made of soapberry seeds and bird feathers, and this game is often played during new year season. That is because it has been said that it is thought…

Cast iron Hamon design wall ornament

History of Takaoka copper works Takaoka douki (copper works) started when a Kaga daimyo, Toshinaga MAEDA(1562-1614), summoned seven casters to the Kanaya-machi of Takaoka City to promote the area’s prosperity in 1611 (Keicho 16). At first, it started as art and craft work presented to the feudal lord. It, then, became widely popular in and…

New arrival of Iwamiyaki pottery from Shimane prefecture 雪舟窯

It’s been a while since I posted my last article and it is already autumn in Japan! There is a famous street in this Aoyama area called Ginkgo tree street (神宮外苑いちょう並木), which is about 1 minute walk from my store, and this street is famous for beautiful autumn color from late November till early December. The…

Kumiki wooden 3D puzzles 組木立体パズル

Hakone yosegi himitsubako puzzle boxes are popular souvenirs from Japan, but for those who like wooden puzzles, you might also find these Kumiki wooden 3D puzzles from Hokkaido interesting. There are two types of these wooden 3D Kumiki puzzles; 6 sticks version and 12 sticks version. This is 12 sticks version. There are 12 cut…

Notice of summer holiday in 2017

MA by So Shi Te will be closed from 3rd till 7th of September 2017. We will open for business as usual from 8th (I am intending to open the store from 1PM on 7th as well though). This is my first holiday in this year (I usually do not take any fixed holidays, so…

Beautiful pottery of Mr. Kouichi Mizuno 水野幸一さんの陶器

There are numerous number of potters and ceramic artists in Japan, and some of them are internationally renowned craftsmen. My work is to find those craftsmen who have not yet been internationally remarked and introduce them to the rest of the world. So many craftsmen in Japan end their lives without being recognized internationally, although their…