Takaoka City in Toyama Prefecture is known for its traditional Takaoka Copperware, which began in 1611, with the invitation of seven casting craftsmen to the area by Toshinaga Maeda, lord of the Kaga domain. Nousaku was founded in this region in 1916.

In the casting process, shapes are formed by melting metal and pouring it into a mold to cool. We arrived at the Nousaku casting foundry just as molten brass was being poured into a mold. The correct moment to pour the brass is determined by carefully observing the color of the flames. The various members involved in the work, from the pourer and the person who moves the mold into place, to the person who climbs on top of the mold to hold it down, must all act in sync. It takes a craftsman’s skill to pour the molten metal into the mold in such a way that it reaches all crevices evenly. For that reason, the process of making the mold is also very important. A prototype with the same shape as the product is created, placed in a frame, and buried in sand. The prototype is then removed to create the mold. This is a task performed by hand, and requires both physical strength and concentration, as any mistake made could lead to failure of the entire casting process. This method of mold production allows for rapid casting work and low costs, and is key to supporting the high-mix, low-volume production approach used at Nousaku.

The policy at Nousaku for high-mix production also leads directly to advances in technique. Almost no customer request is turned down. Customer feedback is used in the development of original products to expand the potential of the technology of casting while gaining new knowledge. For example, the products made of 100% tin, begun about 10 years ago, came about as a result of a request for cast metal tableware from a staff member at a shop selling Nousaku products. While other metals are normally mixed with tin to provide hardness, Nousaku leverages the softness and easy bending of tin in its products, qualities that are normally considered to be demerits of the material when used unmixed.

Katsuji Nousaku, representing the fourth generation, explains,“I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that casting work is like melting the Earth. We take material from the Earth and melt it to create form. I honestly believe that this is a magnificent endeavor, which is exactly why I believe there is still untapped potential to do much more.”The technology of casting is continuously updated even as the long tradition is carried on.

Brass melts at 1,100 degrees Celsius. Impurities contained in the metal are removed as it is melted, much as one removes unwanted froth from the surface of a boiling pot of soup. The work is extremely taxing, with summer temperatures at the workshop reaching 40 degrees Celsius.

When Nousaku was originally founded, products primarily included Buddhist ritual articles, teaware, and flower vases. However, in recent years, the appeal of Takaoka Copperware as a traditional art form is communicated to the present through such products as interior accessories, tableware, lighting fixtures, and objet d’art. The company looks at their inherited tradition through the eyes of the modern day to focus on the material, technology, and product development that should be passed on to later generations.

The cast items are finished either by machine or by hand depending on the material used. As for tin, it is hard to grind as the metal is soft and flexible. For that reason, the degree of perfection of the casting process itself is quite important.

As a rule, molds are kept forever. The collection of molds here includes such things as ship emblems. There are also many molds that were collected from other manufacturers that went out of business. This means that there are an immense number of molds stored in the warehouse.

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Japanese Knife Sharpening Whetstones

Every knife, no matter how good it is, will eventually dull. A Japanese workman’s tools will dull as well. For professionals, they all have their own stones. In old neighborhoods three would be a professional sharpener who you could bring your knife to have it sharpened. Since there are less neighborhoods and more apartments, these services are rarer. Now a days, it is more and more common for people to learn to sharpen their own knives. Once you learn the technique it gets easier to do, especially for those who use Japanese knives overseas.

Whetstones are the best way to grind, sharpen and hone an edge. This is the method used by the factory or workshop where the knife was originally made.

Stones come in a variety of grades, from rough (low number of grits) to ultra-fine (high number of grits). The grits themselves also have different shapes - nipple nodule, cone shape and shard shape – varying in performance in that order. These grits are all man made (silicon carbide or aluminum carbide) and then used to create a stone using clay or ceramic as a bonding agent to create a ‘brick’.

Soak the stone in water and Hold the knife in your right hand (or left) with your index finger along the spine of the knife and be comfortable, hold it tight enough so it doesn’t move as you sharpen but you don’t need a death grip on it. Wear shoes and if possible stand on a mat that will absorb the impact of the knife if you drop it.

The height of the spine of your knife off of the stone below it will determine the angle. A typical sharpening angle for a typical chef knife is 19 or 20 degrees per side. For the sake of removing confusing obstacles that could hinder your progress, let’s just sharpen your knife at 20 degrees per side. You can determine exactly how high off the stone that knife should be held by measuring the height of your blade at the heel and then dividing that number by 3 for a 20 degree angle.

It is best to consult the shop where you buy your knife about what stone they recommend for the knife. They should also teach you about knife sharpening techniques.

If you already have experience sharpening knives and see the stones that we have.


Camellia Oil

Camelia flowers are quite thick and their seeds are very large. The oil is extracted from the seeds. This is a quite a thick oil made from pure camellia called tsubaki. The oil is rich in Oleic Acid which doesn't evaporate or get dry. It is originally created for Japanese woman’s hair, which is thicker than lighter colored hair. Until the Edo period, Japanese women kept their hair very long sometimes never cutting in during their lives. Some women’s hair grew up to 7 meters long. This strong oil kept it shiny, soft, and healthy. From princesses to geisha to regular women, this was the oil that women used. In fact  Maiko and Geisha apply much more than normal woman because they want that super shiny look.

- 100% vegetable oil

- Free of fragrance and color

- For Hair Treatment, use 1-3 drops on damp hair, then blow dry (see illustrations on website)

- Other uses: It can also be used as scalp care oil pack, and moisturizer for your skin.


Eyeware from Sabae Prefecture

The prefecture of Sabae, in Fukui, has a long history of artisanal handicrafts that locals are proud of, stretching back to the era of Emperor Keitai and Wakasa.

The prefecture was famous for more than 1500 year-old Echizen lacquerware, cutlery, and sake. The shift of efforts into eyewear began in the early 20th century, when making eyeglasses became a widespread sideline to farming in winter due to the heavy weather conditions. The beginning of the craftsmenship was that each craftsman started specializing on specific parts of opticals. With the division of labor raising the expertise and level of each craftman’s skill. This is how the relatively new craft of opticals evolved to become one of the most sophisticated craft arts from Japan the world has seen.

In the eyewear industry, Sabae is especially recognised as the birthplace for titanium frame glasses. The fact that the technology of titanium processing has been applied to medical fields and electronic equipment, as well as chosen for Google Glass frames, hints at the outstanding quality.

But it is not the state-of-the-art technology solely that makes Sabae Japan’s most renowned eyeglass-manufacturing district. The craftsmen take excessive amount of time  to make the eyeglasses one by one through more than 200 processes that are difficult to mechanise, such as polishing.

This mentality of “Monozukuri”- craftsmen taking pride in the fact that their glasses will become part of someone’s face - and their uncompromising work ethic lets people visibly see and feel the difference to mass-produced models. It is the fusion of the second-to-none technology with the handicraft of dedicated craftsmen that differentiate Sabae eyewear as pieces of art.

Over the years various brands have sprung up in the area, always using the craftsmen but developing new styles for each age. Some of these lines are, “Boston Club, Kamemannen, Ayame, BJ Classic.

A selection of these brands are available at our store.


Slim Cera

You can give yourself a face-lift with a simple massage and revitalize your skin just by rolling the metallic hand held Slim Cera over your skin. This can be used for your face and body. The rollers of the Slim Cera imitates a therapist’s hands, thereby stimulating your facial muscles to revitalize your skin.

Roll out dirt and cleanse your pores! The diamond cut roller surfaces will push out and remove any dirt, leaving your pores clear and clean. This also stimulates your skin so

Handmade in Japan, composed of the element Germanium, 99.999% pure germanium plate. Germanium is a trace mineral found in ginseng, aloe, and garlic. When in contact with the skin, it emits heat, releasing negative ions thus stimulating blood circulation. It is also stainless steel so it won’t rust

Not only are semi-precious stones just beautiful, but they also carry a vibrational force known as millennia with different grinding stones. Mr Hirotoshi Hattori created a ceramic version, which contains over 10 different minerals including tourmaline, thorium ore, moonstone, quartz, magnetite, zeolite, rutile and more.

All are known for their beneficial effects on the microorganism of the skin. Through their magnetism, they re-organise the different energy flows circulating in the skin, promoting balance

The feedback was extremely positive. The beneficial results of the ceramic ball, which had the ‘pillows/rollers’, were instantaneous. This included observed effects such as softer, firmer skin as a result.

For best results, use it 3 times a day and then use whatever moisturizing cream you use.

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Hinamatsuri - Girls Day

On March 3rd we have a day called Hinamatsuri. It's for wishing girls happiness are bought every year to represent the emperors family. Over the years many rows are on display on March 3rd, as you grow another year older each year, your collection expands, usually given to you by your Mother and Grandmother. 


In the Edo period, not so many people can afford to display hina dolls in their homes. Craftsmen started to make, “Tsurushi Bina” instead. The dolls are made of the tiny pieces of kimonos, sewn and made a shape of flowers like plum, sakura, hydrangea, animals like rabbits, pigs, dogs, vegetables like carrots, daikon radish, birds like owls, sparrows, and dolls like babies, etc. They are are hung over a babies crib and likewise new strings with characters are added

Each dolls has meaning:

For instance, rabbits represent that girls grow to be kind. Hydrangeas mean family’s bond. Carrots mean health.

Tsurushi-bina” makes small doll and “Okazari” (lucky motif) with “HAGIRE” (small cloth).
It”s hung on red string from a circle of a thin bamboo stick.

Each doll and “Okazari” contains wishes one by one.

For example.
・Peach: Amulet, longevity and prosperity of descendants.
・”kinchaku” (wallet): Don’t trouble about money.
・Rabbit: Errand of God.
・Book: To be able to read and write.



It is said that “Tsurushi-bina” has 110 kinds of motif.


There are three famous birthplace of “Tsurushi-bina”.
And, its names are different in the birthplace.

- Fukuoka region: “Sagemon”.
- Shizuoka region: “Hina-no-tsurushi-kazari”.
- Yamagata region: “Kasa-Fuku”.



However, a mother, a grandmother and even neighbors want to wish a happiness of a new born girl baby, so each makes a small doll. Then they suspend those dolls on a string., “Tsurushi bina,” which become an amulet for a new born girl baby.


A dog doll stands for a wish of a healthy baby as well as a charm against bad luck.

A flower of Japanese plum stands for a wish of growing beautifully just like a flower.

“Haikoningyo”, a doll of a baby crawling, stand for a wish of a baby to grow up bravely by crawling a lot.

A strawberry doll stands for a charm against bad luck.

“Harukoma”, a doll of a horse, stand for a wish of growing bravely and playing fun as well as having a steady work when she grows up.

“Houzuki”, a doll of a Chinese lantern plant, stands for a wish of avoiding feminine ailments.


There are some types of Tsurushi bina, such as to hung, to put on the floor and so on. We can choose them according to the lifestyles. Making small dolls and putting them together to wish a happiness of a baby is one of the beautiful cultures in Japan.

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Japanese Chef Knives

The tradition of sword making has been passed down from master to apprentice, from teacher to pupil for generations. These skills in turn, by necessity, are used to make professional knives for cooking.

Japanese chef knives are fashioned by techniques that were originally developed for making katana (samurai swords).

The shift from sword crafting to knife crafting began in the 1850’s when Commodore Matthew Perry’s “black ships” (steam boat) anchored in Edo (Tokyo) Bay, and demanded the emperor to open Japan’s long isolated ports to Western trade. When the United States occupied Japan after World War II, General MacArthur banned the production and possession of katana. The ban forced large numbers of highly skilled craftsmen to turn their skills and attention to crafting kitchen knives. Although, the ban was repealed after seven years, the Japanese government continues to limit production to very few pieces a year. However, the legacy and unforgettable sharpness of the katana still lives on in the heart of the kitchen 1200 years later.

For the knives, the idea that has won the trust of countless professional chefs is called amakire or, “gentle cut“. Although the knife can feel soft in the hand after being sharpened on whetstone, it holds its sharpness for a a long time. To achieve this effect, the skill of the bladesmith in charge of the initial forging process, part of  he knife-making process involving mulitple craftsmen, is extremely important. The blade of a knife is made from base metal (soft iron) and blade metal (steel). These are heated and struck with a hammer to fold the metals forming the blade

During the quenching process, the blade is covered in mud to prevent uneven firing. The coated blade is dried and then fired in the furnace at approximately 800 degrees Celsius, and then rapidly cooled in water. This process increases the hardness of the blade metal. The metal is heated to between 150 and 200 degrees Celsius and then allowed to cool slowly. As the blade cools it forms fine needle-like grain that reduces the chance of any chipping and breakage while the blade is tempered. The bladesmith observes the heat of the fire visually, and checks the effects of forging by the sound the blade makes when immersed in water. It is said that this skill and experience is what determines the sharpness of the knife.

Forging is followed by a lengthy polishing process that requires approximately 20 steps. To shape the blade, the bladesmith uses both artificial and natural stones to gradually grind the profile, or niku, of the blade thinner and thinner. The bladesmith also occassionally strikes it to remove warping, and achieve the cutting edge. The grind line is then beautifully crafted, and in a process called bokashi (clouding), the base metal portion is rubbed to apply a cloudy matte finish which brings out the hazakai and makes the mirror shine oft he blade portion stand out. It is said that the blade is sure to be sharp when this form is beautiful to the eye.

Finally, the handle is attached to complete the knife, a step often carried out by the retailers. The quality of he knife is also checked during this process. The appearance of the finished blade evokes both a sense of ist sharpness, and a certain quiet profoundness.

We have Japanese these Japanese knives at our store by request only.


Kunisawa Notebooks

Paper brand Kunisawa has a motto,“ I do not seek, I find.”

In Japan, we have a long history with paper. From the old days washi (paper) for calligraphy, shoji paper doors, paintings, to more modern times of notebooks. Our ink and paper must be perfect. Poets, architects, designers, office workers, and students, pretty much everyone expects a level of perfection when it comes to paper meets pen or brush. In Japanese we say, "Atarimae", which means, "of course"!

Kunisawa paper company stands with this tradition.

Based on the founders family, Shimbashi Kawachiya, who continues to create all expressions made with paper and ink, including special printing / processing & letterpress printing. Since it's founding in 1971, it has shaped inspiration with creative clients including advertising agencies, graphic designers, photographers, and artists.

In 2017 they launched a high quality notebook, pursuing the texture of paper. Copper cashmere processing which makes it durable for a long time. The shape is inspired by our history with paper that reminds us of the fragrance of ink with a silky touch. Shimbashi's craftsmanship hopes to bring their history and craftsmanship that is affordable for everyone.

British writer Conan Doyle published, in the 19th century a mystery novel, "Sherlock Holmes series", the British "Furusukapu" paper often appears. This is said to be the roots of "false paper". To explain this better, detectives like Sherlock Holmes can tell the difference between properly made paper and 

The false paper is not made for printing, it is made into paper of very high quality made to write to the last, and it is made more carefully than the quality paper which is generally considered good, and it is made by carefully making it. 
Everyone is familiar with "Watermarked University Note" and "Letter Set" and it is used as the only high-class writing-specific paper in Japan.

The final process is applying the ceiling process, which not only adds a high-class feeling, but also makes the notebook last for a long time. It prevents discoloration and shrinkage of the paper and enables long-term preservation.

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Designed by, Hiroshi Iguchi, this porcelain Yoda with a fist and fingers up has had immense popularity since the first one made. Produced by ONE KIlN Ceramics factory in Kagoshima.

1973 Artist from Aichi prefecture. With a poster of "WASP" seen at a friend's house at the first year of junior high school and a verification example of various evidences at "Paul McCartney death theory", etc., we excessively conscious of the strange relationship between music and visual It has become active now mainly focusing on CD, books, apparel related graphic production etc. 

In 2008 Fashion select store Beams Japan launched CULTuART working with various artists to produce “toy” art objects. These are an opportunity for everyone to be able to afford artwork.  Since the are a limited edition, each one is signed by the artist. Ever time he makes a new one he changes it’s color. They are very popular as collectors item.

We have his latest edition at our store.



Silk products have been a part of life in Japan for a very long time. From kimono’s to lifestyle products. Here we introduce the products made from the authentic Japanese silk. The technique, spinning yarn threads by hand from a loosen cocoon called “floss silk”, which is made by spreading boiled cocoons .


About for 25 days, a silkworm grows by repeating terms to be fed mulberry leaves to stay still as if sleeping called “process of molting” .


Hand Reeling: For valuable fabrics utilized cocoons’ natural feature and texture.

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Put the cocoons into a boiled water and make them soft and reel yarn threads from the cocoons with twisting. This hand working technique called “Zaguri” (1) is an origin of automated reeling by using the automatic silk reeling machine which is mainly used for reeling at present.

The technique is to spin yarn threads by hand from a loosen cocoon called “floss silk”. As a raw silk having a delicate texture is needed to make Yuki Tsumugi (pongee), this traditional technique is used for the fabric.

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The primitive way of weaving that had been handed down from 1500 years ago is the back-strap hand loom. They must use their whole body as a weaving machine, weaveing with pulling a warp yarn by using a waist. Another is the technique called TAKAHATA hand loom, the upper and lower thread of a warp yarn are switched by depressing right and left pedals alternately. These two way's of weaving need high skills and take a‹ long time to complete a bolt of fabric because all weaving process is manual work.

Back Strap Hand loom:

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Takahata loom type:

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From here the silk is dyed and a pattern is created for it's purpose it. This painstaking process is worth it because Japanese silk has a completely different feel to it and is more refined. At our store we have silks for tenugi, placement mats, and decoration. 

Geisha Make up Set

During our last visit to  Kyoto, a dear friend of ours invited us to dine and drink with several Geiko Geisha and Maiko. Maiko (Geisha in training) wear their hair naturally up. Only Geisha wear wigs. A Maiko’s kimono is much more colorful than a Geisha’s

We had so much fun enjoying how charming and clever they are. We visited several secret bars with them. During our conversation, I asked one of the ladies how long it took for her to put on her make-up, the girls offered to take us to the store where they all buy their make-up and explained how they apply it. We bought a few sets for the store if anyone is interested. Similar styles are used for the actors in Kabuki theatre.

They start with washing their faces. Then apply a simple cream, any cream but many of the young ones said that since this is a process they do so many times that since the make up is think, they prefer Nivea because it is quite heavy to protect their skin.

Pull your hair back and than apply a wax (Bintsuke-abura a soy based wax) over your face, neck, and chest. This is a hard wax that you warm up in your hands until it dissolves into an oily like texture. This is used to give the final make up a look of a matte face. It also protects your pores from the white paint.

After that another stronger wax is applied to your eyebrows and any hair around your face so that they don't show.

Next apply the white paint, which is made from white powder mixed with water.  Using a special brush paint yourself starting from your neck and using a mirror to see the back of your neck. This obviously takes practice and skill. Apply it to your neck and face.

Next use the red and black paint for your eyes and to paint your eyebrows higher than they actually are.

Finally use the hard red lipstick paste, add it with water. This color is especially beautiful as it is an extremely dark matte red. Not at all shiny like other women wear.

Some prefer to add a bit of pink blush around the eyes and cheeks.

Finally you use a white powder for your face. During the night this powder is used quite often to avoid sweat and to powder up before your next appointment. Unlike what is commonly thought, Geisha and Maiko do not usually spend the entire night with one party. They are constantly running from engagement to engagement in the Gion district. They are usually paid by the hour for their visit and have to constantly run from location to location.

If you ever have a chance to see them running from place to place, please be respectful and ask before taking a photo. It is in bad form to flash camera lights in their face.  

When in Kyoto we say, Okini instead of Domo Arigato both meaning Thank You.

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Valentines day & White Day

Japanese Valentine’s Day tradition is unusual. It is the women who give chocolate or presents to men.

There are two types of chocolates, “Giri-choco” (obligation chocolate), and “Honmei-choco”. Giri-choco is meant to be for friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends.

“Giri” means obligation hence this Giri-choco has no romance involved. On the other hand, Honmei-choco is given to a boyfriend, lover, or husband with true love.

Japanese women often prepare the Honmei-choco by themselves as many of them think it is not true love if they just buy the ready made chocolate at shops. You will start seeing large displays of chocolate, often heart-shaped in department stores and grocery stores from mid-January. Days before the Valentine’s Day, stores get packed with a large variety of chocolates.

Take a look at the Valentine’s Day sections of major Department stores such as Isetan, Marui, or Mitsukoshi, and experience the Valentine’s Day in Japanese style. Many different shapes from lovey sweet to really weird.

Although for or high school students, you can give Kitkat or chocolates that are sold at convenient stores.

What is more unique in Japan is that we haves what is called “White Day”, on March 14th, exactly one month after Valentine’s Day. On White Day men are supposed to return gifts to women who gifted them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. More often the color of the chocolate is white because of the name of the day. Flowers, candies and other gifts are also popular along with the chocolates. Again, department stores have many advanced reminders with gift displays so men will have no excuse to forget about this special day, which is important for women.

If you have a Japanese friend, colleague, or sweetheart and make sure to remember “White Day”, they will be so happy that you understand our culture.


Nabe Pot by Azmaya

Nabe is a very common Japanese hot pot meal. It is also convenient as the preparation time (mostly cutting vegetables) can be completed in 10 - 15 minutes. Almost every household has a nabe pot. Typically for a family dinner or a fun dinner with friends at someone’s home. There are many different recipe’s and each family has their favorite types from the soup flavor to the ingredients, different district of Japan also have their particular styles. This Nabe pot can also be used for Shabu Shabu, Sukiyaki, Oden, Udon, etc. 

The Azmaya nabe bowl is made in the Iga province in the South of Japan, an area famous for pottery. This pot is made to put directly on the stove burner. In Japan, most families have a small gas burner that is set directly on the table as everyone sits around and eats. This burner is also used to make yakitori, grilled vegetables, grilled seafood, and fish. These grills and burners can be purchased at Asian stores as this type of dish is popular in most East Asian countries. You can also make nabe on the kitchen burner as well and put the nabe on table as long as you use a trivet to protect your table. 

Fill the nabe pot 2/3rds full of water and add half a piece of dry kelp, which you can usually find a any health market or asian market, (soak the kelp and remove it just before the water boils) add a little soy sauce or ponzu sauce to taste, alternately you can also use fresh chicken soup or fish stock or pre-made sauces from an Asian market. Of course it is not necessary to buy a sauce. You don’t need to use a lot of flavor as the vegetables and meat give the soup it’s flavor. Many people boil the water on the stove to save gas canisters, when is boiled with add the harder vegetables and meat have cooked bring it carefully to the burner on the table.  

The table should be already set with all the additional vegetables and ingredients add the rest of the lighter vegetables), mushrooms, tofu, konjac, thinly sliced pork or chicken or seafood whatever you are in the mood for. 

Many recipes can be found online for different types of sauces. Boil everything well and, open the pot and start eating, taking food out as everyone takes a portion and puts it in their bowl. Have a ladle and use chopsticks and a spoon for some of the more delicate vegetables and tofu. Additionally, have one or two small dishes per person to dip sauces in. We usually use one for ponzu, which is a type of soy sauce with a citrus flavor. In the other dish, a sesame sauce that can be bought of made by grinding sesame seeds and adding soy sauce and mirin sake.  

When most of the vegetables have been eaten, add water and more meat and vegetables continue the same process until everyone is full. We usually fill the pot at least 2 or 3 times. At the end you will have a nice tasty broth. Add pre-cooked Udon noodles or Rice noodles or most white/clear Asian noodles.

Most of these ingredients are found at Japanese or Asian markets but you can be creative with vegetables from your local market. For those of us who live outside Japan we have tried using more western style vegetables. These can include salad, lettuce, laitue iceberg, onions, scallions, bok choi (an Asian spinach), watercress, hakusai (Chinese cabbage also known as Napa cabbage), Daikon, carrots, lotus root, potatoes. For mushrooms: Shitake, Button mushrooms, konjaku, maitaku, enoki, shimeiji. Add firm tofu cut into cubes, aburage (fried tofu). Feel free to experiment with anything you like, there are really no specific rules to how you should eat nabe.

We hope you enjoy different styles of nabe. It is a wonderful way to eat and interact with family and friends.

We sell this pot in 2 sizes at our store.

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Kenkawai Binchotan

Kenkawai x Bows & Arrows


Activated charcoal for your body & soul

Kenkawai is a Japanese name and an homage to one of the founders grandfather Kazuo Kawai, who had run a lead typesetting workshop at his home in Kobe and manufactured his print products to the last by hand. The literal translation of KENKAWAI is health and river outfall.

Binchotan products are made from white charcoal from Japanese holm oak from the forests in Kishu, Japan. The slow growing oak wood is slowly baked over several days, first at a low temperature, then at a very high temperature, which restricts the oxygen to trap the carbon in the wood. At the end we are left with a white ash, which is used to make the Binchotan products. The result is an extremely absorbent material, which can be used many different ways. Binchotan uses this technology to create a variety of beauty products.  

Kenkawai - Binchotan Konjac Sponge
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The charcoal Konjac sponge and vitalizing exfoliating has an antibacterial effect and removes impurities from the skin. It leaves the skin refreshed and purified. It is also suitable for sensitive and allergic skin types.

Kenkawai - Binchotan Toothbrush
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The Binchotan toothbrush prevents plaque and whitens the teeth. 100% Made in Japan. A modern update to a bathroom staple, this toothbrush features activated Binchotan charcoal that has been infused into every bristle. Charcoal’s absorptive power helps to naturally deodorize your mouth and remove plaque while keeping the bristles clean between uses. It’s a novel alternative to messy powdered charcoal toothpaste. This style features standard bristles for a deeper clean.

Kenkawai - Binchotan Charcoal Stick
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Water Purifier: A stick of Binchotan charcoal to purify your water. The charcoal mineralizes and purifies water absorbing chemicals and lime making the water softer and cleaner. Charcoal has long been used in Japan to purify drinking water and is used in baths as well. When you drive through the countryside you can often buy charcoaled bamboo or wood to use for purification, however the strong oak wood that is used is much stronger and can be used for longer. After 1-2 months, you can clean the charcoal by cooking it for 10 minutes in boiling water. After an overall lifespan of 4-6 months, the charcoal should be replaced and can be recycled as a fertilizer for your garden or plants.

Kenkawai presents charcoal beauty goods and handwoven towels from Japan that combine modern design with traditional craftsmanship. Kishu Binchotan – a charcoal stick made of holm oak is being used in Japan for many generations to purify, soften and mineralize water or to clean room air. Binchotan Care Products are charcoal essentials for daily skin care. Kontex is a family-run company since 1934, weaving ultra soft and highly absorbent towels made of cotton and linen.


Livrer Yokohama Laundry Detergent

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Livrer Yokohama is a one-of-a-kind dry cleaning shop in Yokohama that specializes in cleaning stage costumes for clients that include Cirque du Soleil's "Totem," and some of the world's top artists including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and famous Japanese artists. Costumes used for live performances are often made with complex patterns and delicate materials, making them very difficult to clean without exceptional experience, knowledge, and skill. There are problems with sweat, make up, which Livrer Yokohama is the best to gently and thoroughly clean each piece.

Utilizing this expertise, Livrer Yokohama developed a laundry detergent that does not need a fabric softener. A gentle detergent made by a dry-cleaning shop. A luxurious blend of palm-derived cleaning ingredients, amino acids and amino silicone, which are cosmetic grade moisturizing and softening ingredients. This detergent has superior cleaning properties while also softening and preventing clothes from shrinking. 

For fragrance, it uses a base of natural essential oils to which synthetic fragrances have been added so that the pleasant fragrance remains after washing. 
The fragrances that we are available at Bows & Arrows include: Beach, Bergamot, Forest, Green Apple, Rose.

Livrer - Laundry Detergent Beach
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Livrer - Laundry Detergent Bergamot
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Livrer - Laundry Detergent Forest
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Livrer - Laundry Detergent Green Apple
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Livrer - Silk&Wool Detergent Rose
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Zodiac Animals

The Chinese animal zodiac, or (shengxiao  meaning “born resembling”),  is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these zodiac animals were used to date the years. 

In order, the 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Each year is associated with a zodiac animal. It is believed that people with different zodiac animal signs have different traits, much in the same way that people believe the same about sun signs.

In Japan we also use this system to celebrate the various years and most people know their zodiac animal. Many people have a ceramic or paper or fabric animal with their year or buy one as a good luck gift for that year.

At our store we currently have a selection of ceramic dolls. 2018 is the year of the Dog. So of course we have the Dog.





Kanuma x Bows & Arrows


Lucky-charm from the gods

Kanuma is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture. In 1636, Nikko Toshogu Temple was built using highly skilled artisans from all over Japan. For 400 years, the region has kept this know-how kept to become a high place of carpentry and cabinetmaking. In addition, the city of Kanuma is surrounded by cedar forests and cypress hinoki, allowing it to be self-sufficient with the supply of wood as well as the preservation of the trees so that their carpentry tradition will continue into the future.

Kouichi Wakasugi is an industrial designer in Tokyo. His work is intimately linked to the woodworking trades. Most of its products are made in the Tochigi region. He decided to collaborate with the craftsmen of Kanuma with series of objects designed in Tokyo and crafted in Kanuma to thus promote the ancestral know-how of an entire region.

One of Kouichi Wakasugi's projects is a line of "Engimono" (catching-luck) with characters drawn from Japanese Gods. Each god has his symbol, bringing luck to business, love, professional success, etc.

These come in the shape of small masks or pins. Use the mask for kids, pins for your clothes, or decorate your home with a Japanese deity to bring luck into your life. Available in store and on our e-shop.

Kanuma - Sugi no Kamisama Engimono Pins
God of:
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Kanuma - Sugi no Kamisama Engimono Mask
God of:
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Temari Balls

Temari are highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing friendship and loyalty. The brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life.

Traditionally, becoming a craftsman in Japan was a tedious process. Becoming a temari artist in Japan today requires specific training, and one must be tested on one's skills and technique before being acknowledged as a crafter of temari.

Traditionally, temari were often given to children from their parents on New Year's Day. Inside the tightly wrapped layers of each ball, the mother would have placed a small piece of paper with a goodwill wish for her child. The child would never be told what wish his or her mother had made while making the ball.

Historically, temari were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball, and then the wad would be wrapped with strips of fabric. As time passed, traditional temari became an art, with the functional stitching with thread becoming more decorative and detailed, until the balls displayed intricate embroidery was finalized. With the introduction of rubber to Japan, the balls went from play toys to art objects, although mothers still make them for their children. Temari became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating increasingly beautiful and intricate objects.

Today you can find Temari in many shops and they are taken them up more and more as hobbies with books about them and various designs.

The Temari that we have at our store is a very old one, which can be seen by the style and even though it is very skillfully made, you can see that it is vintage, almost a museum piece. Please check it out when you visit our store.

Here are some more modern versions.




Azmaya Butter and Cheese Knifes

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This butter and cheese knife set are designed by Osamu Saruyama and made in Ishikawa, Japan. Azmaya collaborates with Japanese artisans to create contemporary products using traditional techniques and materials. Attention to detail and high quality materials are emphasised. The resulting products reflect the high standards and superior techniques of craft produced in Japan today. The brass handle of the knife will darken over time to a deep rich tone.

Materials: Brass and Stainless Steel

Made from a contrast of golden brass and silvery stainless steel, this butter knife adds a touch of elegance to your daily breakfast routine. With usage, the handle of the knife will darken over time to a deep rich tone.  

This collection features a collaboration between Japanese artisans, designers and small manufacturers in the Ishikawa prefecture. It aims to present contemporary housewares using traditional techniques and Japan-found materials like brass and cherry wood. Minimalist design, a focus on details and high quality materials are hallmarks of the movement, with the resulting products reflecting the high level of skill and superior techniques of Japanese artisans today.



Sugahara Glass


Each glass is made by hand. The Sugahara craftsmanship brings out the warmth of each glass. Their motto is: “Glass is alive” & “Conversing with glass”. For the glass craftsmen of Sugahara, this is a natural expression. There is a moment when glass, as a liquid under extreme heat, attains its supreme beauty. That moment is captured, and a form is given to it. Drawing out the infinite potential of glass to the fullest. Creating a unique shine and flowing forms.

To do this, Craftsmen stand face-to-face with glass each day and listen to its voice. They aspire to deliver glassware that feels as warm as the human body, which will bring a smile to your lips when you hold it in your hand, and which will add colors when entertaining that special person in your life.

Sugahara never compromises when it comes to handmade glass. Since their beginnings in 1932, in Tokyo, the artisans at Sugahara have applied traditional Japanese design techniques to reveal and express the beauty of glass in ways never before seen, in handcrafted glassware for the tabletop and other uses.

In 1932, Kazuma Sugahara begins a private business manufacturing glassware at what is now in  Kameido, Koto-ku, Tokyo. Since then they can be found all over Japan and more recently internationally renowned glassware company.

Sugahara - Fujiyama Glass
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