STRAW PRODUCTS by Sunami Toru Shoten

Sunami Toru Shoten has been founded in 1886, manufacturing mat at Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, a city known to be the birthplace of figured mat and former production area of rush-grass.

Today, Mr. Ryuki Sunami, less than 30 years old, is the fifth generation craftsman at Sunami Toru Shoten.

He is now the only craftsman of Ikago, a special type of rush-baskets and rush-accessories creates Ikago. He applies the methods that he has inherited from his grandmother Sakae.

“Our shop used to produce Tatami mat and Hana-Mushiro, flower-patterned mat (a decorative mat made from dyed rush). Baskets were small business when we started our company. We made them from surplus rush not used for mat production so it was just a side business outside the core business. When I was a child, I enjoyed helping my grandmother to make baskets and that’s how I learnt about making baskets”

Rice cropping cannot be done in Setouchi area because it is too salty since it was originally the sea, so rush grass and cotton were planted.

“The bottle-holder or watermelon-basket was used not only as a basket to carry but also used as a stopper to cool watermelons in a well or a river. The weaving method is different from that in the past as it used to be rougher, we now apply more stylish weaving designs.”

Binkago S size or M size is a size suitable to carry wine bottles of 750ml. Also serving as a buffer material, it is very convenient to carry around. Water bottles and onions also fit into it. Alike mat, its color gradually changes to brown over time. 

Size: W80xD80xH360mm
Material: Rush -grass

Pot-holder: Natural pot-holder, hand-made by Ryuki Sunam, from rush-grass
Material: Rush -grass

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