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1F Japanese China, Miscellaneous goods, Stationery

Ceramics

A delight to hold

Beautiful Japanese ceramics are loved around the world. Famous ceramics unique to each region can be found throughout Japan. Among these, the vibrantly painted "Imari" and "Kutani" porcelains are world renowned, with a long history as exports.

Why "Imari" porcelain became famous

Imari porcelain is intricately painted in reds, ultramarine blues, blue-greens, and yellows over almost translucent white backgrounds. These fine objects were coveted by lords in every region during the Edo period for the flair they added as additional to their already decadent table settings. Imari porcelain originated in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, the first region to produce porcelain, back at the beginning of the 15th century. Another name for Imari porcelain is "Arita-yaki." Imari and Arita are both the names of locations, but the earthenware produced in Arita left Japan for foreign shores from the port of Imari. This is why only "Imari" became well known overseas.

Richly colored "Kutani" porcelain

The history of Kutani porcelain begins in the mid-15th century, in Kanazawa in the Hokuriku region. The unique colors of Kutani ware, referred to as Kutani gosai (five colors), include red, yellow, green, purple, and Prussian blue. The painting itself is distinctly Kutani, with a denseness similar to oil-painting. The style of Kutani ware changes greatly with the times. Some periods give preference to a heavy touch, others to a delicate touch, and still others to Chinese-style patterns. One of the added joys of appreciating a fine piece of Kutani ware is to imagine the period of creation.

Washi Paper and Chiyogami

Beautiful and durable washi paper - the Pride of Japan

Washi, with its long fibers and beautiful texture, is thin but very strong. It was used in the Edo period not only as paper for writing and drawing, but also as a material for kimonos and furniture.
The most widely known modern use of washi is as Japanese currency. Compared to paper found in the West, washi is extremely durable. For this reason, washi plays a vital role in the restoration of cultural treasures around the world.
"Chiyogami" is a washi brightly colored and decorated with traditional Japanese patterns, and cut into squares. It is often used to clothe paper dolls, and pasted onto handicrafts and boxes as decorations.

What you can get here

We sell a fine assortment of pretty fabric bags in traditional Japanese colors and prints.

Teddy bears with a uniquely Japanese look await your visit.

Enjoy the natural landscape of Japan from your home with a kit for growing a small bonsai.

Visit our antique section on the second floor to find a brand new selection of items for daily use.

Add a bit of Japan to your life with our popular towels and handkerchiefs.

You will find a wide variety of hair accessories, from the very Japanesque "kanzashi" (hairpin) to corsages and hair clips.

"Kinue," a ukiyo-e picture painted on silk, is perfect set in a frame or used as a luncheon mat.

Write of your travels with letter sets and stationary items with a Japanese feel.

Japanese patterned fabric is an adorable material for purses and bags.

Popular yunomi cups with kanji characters. "茶" means "green tea." Without "茶," a Japanese dining experience is incomplete.

* You can see more images on our floor guide page.

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