Objects of art in cherry bark: Kabazaiku
Immerse yourself in the exquisite world of Kabazaiku, a centuries-old Japanese craft that transforms the delicate bark of cherry trees into stunning works of art. Discover the meticulous techniques behind this ancient tradition as artisans expertly shape and adorn the bark to create intricate boxes, trays, and vases. Each piece captures the natural allure of cherry bark, showcasing its unique textures and hues. Experience the beauty and grace of Kabazaiku as it brings a touch of traditional Japanese elegance into your world.
The Yamagata Cast
Explore the world of Yamagata Imono, a timeless Japanese craft that showcases the region's rich heritage of metalworking. Delve into the skilled artistry as artisans meticulously shape and mold metal into exquisite pieces, ranging from functional tools to intricate ornaments. With a history rooted in tradition, Yamagata Imono celebrates the fusion of craftsmanship and culture, offering a glimpse into the heart of Japan's metalworking legacy.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting realm of Kutani Yaki, a masterful Japanese ceramic tradition. Transcending time, artisans infuse clay with vibrant hues and intricate designs, crafting delicate tea sets, vases, and tableware. Marvel at the fusion of art and craftsmanship as Kutani Yaki pieces adorn your surroundings with their radiant beauty and cultural heritage.
mmerse yourself in the world of Echizen Shikki, a revered Japanese lacquerware tradition. Witness the harmony of nature and craftsmanship as skilled artisans create exquisite pieces using ancient techniques. From stunning bowls to intricate trays, Echizen Shikki items are adorned with intricate designs, reflecting the beauty of Japanese aesthetics. Elevate your surroundings with the timeless elegance of Echizen Shikki lacquerware.
Although its history dates back to the 7th century, it is said that it is its lack of identifiable characteristic or style that precisely characterizes Mino-yaki ceramics. Indeed, Mino ceramics take on many aspects with more than 15 recognized styles. Like Kiseto (yellow seto), Setoguro (black seto), Oribe or Shino-yaki, this diversity of styles developed during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603) and the numerous works thus produced, judged to be of great quality, were incorporated among the essentials of the tea ceremony. More generally, it is the expressiveness in the fluidity of the glazes and the curved and irregular lines which give the charm and uniqueness of the Mino-yaki style.
Seto ceramics and porcelain
It is in Seto (Inland Sea region), where quality soil abounds, that richly glazed ceramics and porcelain have been manufactured for over a thousand years in one of the six oldest ceramic production sites in Japan. As the country's leading production region, the very term Seto-mono (literally "things, objects of Seto") has become synonymous for the Japanese with pottery in general, so much so that it is said that it There's nothing we can't produce in Seto.
The city of Tokoname is located on the Chita Peninsula in Aichi Prefecture, known for its mild climate and generous nature. Tokoname ceramics still come today from furnaces recognized as being among the six oldest ceramic production sites in Japan and its manufacturing technique has been perpetuated since the Middle Ages. It would be the oldest among these six production sites (Echizen, Seto, Shinano, Shigaraki, Tamba and Bizen). Thanks to the quality of its soil and the high-end technique used to make kyûsu teapots, it is said in Japan that anyone can make good tea when equipped with a Tokoname teapot.
Chasen from Takayama
The chasen, matcha whisk, is essential when preparing matcha tea. It is an artisanal and traditional item using techniques passed down for more than 5 centuries dating from the Muromachi period (1336-1573). Even today, more than 90% of chasen are made in the village of Takayama, located in the municipality of Ikoma in Nara Prefecture, nicknamed “the village of chasen”.
During the manufacturing process, the bamboo harvested in winter is purged of its resin, allowed to dry in natural light and cut very finely with a blade to create long, thin pistils measuring 30 to 70 micrometers at their tips. All steps are carefully carried out by hand. The chasen is finally held using a wire at the base of the pistils and then the final finishing touches take place, including adjusting the pistils. There are more than 100 types of chasen in Takayama alone, whose number of pistils (or stems), shape, material used, and use vary depending on the school of tea ceremonies or the type of matcha made. (light usucha tea or thick koicha for example).
It is accepted that the history of Kyô-yaki ceramics dates back to Japanese antiquity, but it would be more reasonable to say that it really differentiated itself and established itself as a style in its own right from the time Azuchi-Momoyama at the beginning of the Edo period (from the 15th to the beginning of the 17th century) which corresponds to an increase in the production of ceramics and tea objects linked to the rise of the practice of the tea ceremony in Japan. Kyoto was then the capital and cultural center of the country, so much so that all the famous artisans converged there, bringing with them their own techniques and aesthetic sense. Diverse and original but always refined creations were therefore the prerogative of the Kyô-yaki style. Even today, both the turning and the enamels are made by hand with the finesse characteristic of the ancient capital which preserves centuries-old traditions and techniques.
Karatsu ceramics are made in northern Kyûshû, straddling the prefectures of Nagasaki and Saga. Its charm lies in its simple rusticity but not devoid of refinement, which reminds us of the soft warmth of the earth, as well as in its varied ornamental patterns. Many pottery items, including teaware, have been made in the Karatsu-yaki style since the sixteenth century. It is said about them that if the ceramist does 80% of the work, the remaining 20% is the responsibility of the user. Thus, the object will be truly completed once used for the first time in cooking or for making tea, consecrating the principle of “yô no bi”, that is to say beauty in use – and in 'wear.