top of page


It is my delight that you have decided to learn more about traditional Japanese crafts. This section is non-exhaustive, and I hope it whets your appetite in seeking out even more stories.

If you can read Japanese, I have actually written a lot more! Please click here.

If not, I'd love to chat with you anytime and help you discover our cultural treasures.

Discover: Text

History & Ongoing Stories

Tobe Ceramics

The mountains near Tobe in Ehime prefecture are blessed with good quality pottery clay and abundant pine trees that are ideal for firing kilns. This made pottery an early development in Tobe, however, the beautiful and refined porcelain Tobe wares we now know was borne out of opportunity.

Then, the ruling Ozu clan faced financial difficulty, and whetstones which was a popular product of the domain had unwanted by-products. Perhaps, embodying the Japanese mindset of removing waste, they decided to try recycling these by-products. Over the next centuries as techniques continued to be refined, these pieces took the spotlight as Tobe's and one of Japan's most famous crafts.

Tobe ceramics are largely white due to the high purity of the raw material from the region resulting in minimal imperfections during the firing process. Some are painted however,  they can come in painted varieties. 

Tobe ceramics' gentle, relatively light colors also make for good Western tableware.

Tobe also hosts the Tobe Ceramics Festival twice a year, in the spring and fall.

Read more here (presently in Japanese only). 

Kutani Ceramics

Kutani ceramics are typified by their vibrant, overglazed designs. The vivacity of these works, made in the humble kilns of culturally rich Ishikawa Prefecture, have won them fans from around the world.

Stemming from a mine discovery of pottery stone in the 1600s, Saijiro Goto and Tamura Gonzaemon opened the first kiln in 1655 and started producing coloured porcelain.

50 years later however, the kiln closed down, and to this day no one knows why. The beauty of Kutani ceramics and the art would have been lost to the world if not for the Kaga clan's effort 100 years later.

The clan invited Aoki Mokubei, a master ceramics craftsman, and renowned painter to re-discover, and re-invent this art. The Kasugayama kiln was built, and from then on, other kilns sprouted. The Kaga clan instituted an import ban on ceramics to give Kutani ceramics the time it needed to blossom into the world-class cultural treasure today.

Read more here (presently in Japanese only).


When we think about kimono, florid details, rich colours, and elaborate dress just flows into our might be too intimidating or complicated for the beginner to get into. Let this not be the case!

Actually, what is Kimono? Translated directly to English, the word can be broken down into two parts "ki" as in "kiru" which means "to wear"; and "mono" which means "thing."

Hence kimono is simply something to wear!

Kimono can be simple, depending on the chosen fabric, or it can be luxurious as it is typified in most of our imaginations. Kimono fits in any occasion. 

In fact, wearing a kimono is good for your posture! Have you seen images of geishas, or weddings? Notice their good posture. This is a result of wearing an "obi" or sash around their waist, which keeps the wearer straight and proper, and gives confidence to each stride.

If you would like to learn more, or have one made for you, please reach out at any time. 

Discover: Products
bottom of page