Turquoise blue bowls and plates by Yoh-ichi Yajima

Summer in Tokyo can be very hot due to the high humidity as well as the heat and we have invented various ways of cooling down the heat by not only the physical attempt to cool ourselves down but also by the use of visual image and auditory sound for feeling cooler at least. For…

Beautiful lace glass works by Mr. Taichi Itou

Mr. Ito was born in 1975 in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan. When he was 18, he moved to the USA, where he originally studied pottery. He, then, moved onto the study of glass art. He moved back to Japan in 1999 and he eventually set up his own workshop in 2004 in Yamaguchi prefecture. His works…

Hand painted Yuzen kimono fan from Kyoto

Kyoto has a long history of producing Kimono, which is a Japanese traditional clothes, and Yuzen is one technique used for dyeing the kimono fabrics. Hand painted dyeing Yuzen is all painted by hand and it is almost like a piece of art. The base bamboo fan is made in Marukame city, where is famous…

Echizen Washi Handcrafted durable paper Eico bags

  Echizen city, where has over 1,500 year history of handcrafted washi paper, is located in Ishikawa prefecture of Japan. Washi is made using fibers from the inner bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia chrysantha), or the paper mulberry (kōzo) bush.   Washi is generally tougher than ordinary modern paper made from…

Hakata magemono or wappa from Fukuoka 博多曲物 玉樹

 Hakata magemono is a traditional crafts from Fukuoka, Japan. Magemono (曲げ物)literally means ‘Bent thing’ and it is generally made with Japanese cedar. Me on the left and Ms. Tamaki Shibata, who is the principal craftswoman, in the middle. As far as I know she is the only female craftswoman who makes this type of crafts…

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…

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…