Vincent Shoelaces & Cocks Combs

"Vincent Shoelace" was started by a man and woman from Kyoto and their love of shoes however he felt that there was a lack in shoe lace varieties so they decided to design their own. They consider that you should change your shoelaces like you change your hairstyles. There all multiple colors and patterns.

The Bees wax:

It is an original waterproof wax for waxing your laces so that they stay clean. All materials are combined with natural ingredients, and are handmade by two people. Lanolin, which is taken from beeswax and kyou oil.

You rub the shoelace with the bar of wax like you would an eraser and finally lightly melt the wax with a dryer. This process makes the shoelace stronger and helps to keep it shape better when tied. The wax also protects your laces from dirt and rain.

They also created what they named, “Cocks Comb” in three different colors so you can change the front of you favorite sneakers when they get dirty. A spin-off item that they wanted to create as another way to accessorize your sneakers.

These products can be found at our store. 

Mikia Bracelets

Mikia was established in 1998 in Tokyo, Japan. The designer, Aki Mitsubayashi travels the world, and gets inspired by people, culture and things that she finds and feels, everything is her treasure and becomes jewelry. All her jewelry is hand made in Japan, using natural stones, vintage beads and more. There is always a story behind each material

After a decade of the brand, having used many different  materials, they started  focusing on vintage beads and brass beads. They became necessary items for thier men's collection. They often mix them with larger natural  stone beads to have masculine look and  make bracelets. They have become their signature item. 

These bracelets have become classic pieces, enjoyed by people all other the world. We hope you enjoy our selection at our store. 

How to wash with Livrer Yokohama

As we mentioned before we carry 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, etc, and Livrer Yokohama is the best of the best to gently and thoroughly 

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, and 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.

When you do laundry at home, the last thing you want is to have a dirty washer tub. If any of the things listed bellow apply to you, it's time to get your washing machine cleaned.

Causes of this are: You use a softner, Your laundries smell, You use soap at the laundry detergent, You never cleaned your washer tub, You have soaked clothes for too long:  For all of these reasons your washer tub smell bad, in turn your clothes small bad. Solution: Pour 30mL LIVRER YOKOHAMA WASHING MACHINE CLEANER

Select "washer tub cleaning course" and clean the washer tub. After cleaning the tub, select a normal course without any laundries (repeat this procedure twice). Remove rubbish if there are any. Wash your everyday laundry.

To Wash using a machine:

1。Make a pre-laundry liquid in a spray bottle (mix 1:1 ratio of detergent and water)

2. Spray the pre-laundry liquid on stubborn stains and tap it with a brush

3。Make sure you use plenty of water for laundry. The normal laundry course will not have enough water.

- 40mL of detergent for 50-60L of water

- 30mL of detergent for 35-50L of water

- 20mL of detergent for 20-35L of water

4。 Mix water with detergent. Set your laundry machine, and start it up but without the laundry for the first 3 minutes.

5. Once the water and the detergent is mixed, place the laundries in the laundry machine.

6. Rinse your laundry once, and spin for 5 minutes. You'll have your laundry done perfectly and beautifully soft.

To Handwash Delicates like cashmere, silk, wool, etc:

1.Make a pre-laundry liquid in a spray bottle (mix1:1ratio of detergent and water)

2. Spray the pre-laundry liquid on stubborn stains and tap it with a brush

3. Put your items that require a light touch in a mesh laundry bag

4. Mix water with detergent. 5cc of detergent will be necessary for every 5L of water. If the item has a stubborn stain, pre-soak it using 40℃ water

5。Put your laundry in and wash them by hand. Keep the bag tight and tie it if necessary so that there isn’t excess space inside. It should be as compact as possible.

6. Put your laundry into the laundry machine and spin it for 1 minute

7. Rinse your laundries once using 5L of water

8. Spin your laundries again in the bag for 1 - 3minutes

9. Dry flat items such as knitted ones, which will lose shape when hung from a hanger.

Suuu Sponges

The Suuu brand originated from a technology group that has been developing super absorbent material for more than 60 years.

While making products that support high-tech industries where high quality technology is required, the engineers of Suuu have asked themselves this question:

Can this state-of-the-art technology be useful for everyone in their daily lives using water?

The result is the creation of wonderful and charming forms that had never existed before in sponges.

The name “Suuu” comes from the Japanese verb  “Suu” (吸う )- “to absorb” - the additional “u” indicates the enhanced absorbing powers of the sponges.

Suuu is a brand of everyday goods made of super absorbent material created in 2016 by Aion Corporation.

Polyvinyl alcohol and polyurethane, which have cultivated manufacturing technology since its basic patent establishment in 1951, are materials made of pores, also called functional precise porous body. Around 90% of the volume is made of pores.

Until now, the material has demonstrated its water-absorption qualities in state-of-the-art high-tech fields such as “precision-cleaning" of semiconductors.

As engineers, the creators hope that the almost magical water absorption power of the Suuu material will enrich people's everyday lives. For more enjoyment of usage, they have added a playful spirit in form of charming design and colours to the technological spirit of Suuu.

Before usage:

Massage and rinse product thoroughly with water.

The slightly coloured water comes from the material and is not unusual. As the product is hand-crafted, slight changes in colour or form can occur but this does not effect the product’s functional efficacy.

Usage:

Product becomes solid when dried.

When using the product for the first time or after it dried up, make it soft and moist first by rinsing it with water.

Place product on liquid you want to remove and absorb by pushing the product. Use cleansing lotion if necessary.

Clean product after usage to protect it from mold.

Warnings:

Do not use product for other purposes than absorbing liquids.

Minor damages on product do not affect its functional performance.

Keep away from cloths as product can lose colour.

Do not expose to boiling water, heat or direct sunlight.

Tanabata Star Festival

Tanabata, or the star festival, is on July 7. As the date approaches, long, narrow strips of colorful paper known as tanzaku, vibrant ornaments, and other decorations are hung from bamboo branches, enlivening the decor of homes as well as brightening shopping arcades, train stations, and other public spaces. Before they are hung, tanzaku are inscribed with a wish, such as a child’s dream of becoming a famous soccer player or a parent’s hope for career success.

Bamboo is thought to have become a part of the tanabata tradition for its propensity to grow straight and tall, with upward stretching branches bearing wishes to heaven on the wind.

According to the folktale, Orihime (Vega), a gifted weaver, and Hikoboshi (Altair), a hard-working cow herder, began to neglect their duties upon being wed. The couple incurred the wrath of the bride’s father Tentei, the emperor of heaven, and were exiled to separate ends of the Milky Way. They are granted a meeting each July 7 so long as they both diligently fulfill their celestial obligations during the other days of the year.

The legend behind the star festival first crossed over to Japan from China during the Nara period (710–94) in the form of a weaving festival for young women aspiring to bolster their talents on the loom. The story merged with the Japanese legend of tanabata-tsume, the tale of a celestial maiden who weaves clothes for the gods, as well as other native cultural aspects to produce a unique Chinese-infused Japanese tradition.

The traditional food of the star festival is sōmen. The long, thin noodles evolved from a woven Chinese sweet known in Japanese as sakubei, whose intertwined strands were thought to resemble both the Milky Way and the weaving threads worked by Orihime. Sōmen is commonly enjoyed in a light dipping sauce. Many parents will amuse their children by topping noodles with star-shaped slices of boiled okra.

It’s a day were it’s popular to wear colorful Yukata’s and enjoy the festival. 

Books on Minimalism and how to Declutter

In Japan, de-cluttering is about so much more than a little spring cleaning, when you do it properly and you will find some clear space to think and meditate.

Since the population in Japan is so large and we inhabit some of the smallest apartments, there is always the problem of clutter. Be it a stack of manga, clothes, shoes, etc, it is a constant battle to get rid of unused things.

If you go to your grandparents house you can either find the most minimalistic place or stacks of sentimental things that they don’t want to part with.

For precious things, we have a tradition where we burn them at the temple at new years. For good luck charms that are usually for 1 year, for family things that we cannot throw out as if they were trash, it is a way to respect and release items with a priest. It doesn’t have to be at new years but it is a nice tradition.

For most, we do the 4 season cleaning. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The most important usually is in winter at the end of the year. A day or two of cleaning and organizing everything and then going to the hot springs to cleanse your body and soul. A type of meditation and reflection and shedding of the old and prepared for the present and new.

This has been translated by Ms. Marie Kondo, the de-cluttering guru who advocates the binning of any possessions that no longer spark joy or are unnecessary. Her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up”, has sold more than six million copies.

The Kondo concept is simple enough: empty our a cupboard of anything that you haven’t used in at least a year. If you want to store something, wrap it up, vaumme-pack it and keep it for another season. We have these at our store and it is a good way to store winter clothes, etc. We put some hiba or hinoki wood in as well to prevent any bacteria but gentle enough not to damage or stain your clothing.

In spring it is a good time to wash your cashmere and delicates. For this we have a good product by a brand at our store called Livrer Yokohama.

We also have storage bags so that you can vacuum pack your sweaters and Jackets. We also have cedar blocks to keep your clothes

Our dear friend and incredible architect, Fumihiko Sano, using the traditional form and tools, without nails. Everything is handmade. He recently penned the book called, “Goodbye, Things : The new Japanese Minimalism”. About the lightness when you get rid of unnecessary things. A true minimalist, yet always has impeccable style. 

Haru - Stuck On Design

Haru is the perfect tape that you can color up a room or a space. There are many colors and patters so whatever you can imagine, you can make. There are various sizes as well.

The tape sticks to the wall but is gently enough to put on and take off without ruining your walls or having to repaint.

The essence of this new collection has been made possible with our technology. Each material influences color, pattern and functionality (easy to come off, but with a lasting hold). Such functions were made possible with our experience in developing

There are different types of paper for different purposes.

Japanese washi paper can be thin but quite strong.

By incorporating this material, the tape can be easily torn with your hands, while still enjoying the matte finish and soft washi texture.

PET tape was developed for markings on hospital and gym-floors. The surface is glossy. Strong adhesive and easy removal without leaving traces reflects our technology.

OPP tape, transparent:

Made of material with a washi-like texture, the transparent part blends with the tape below, allowing the beautiful patterns to stand out. A variety of rich expressions is made possible by overlaying tapes of different material. Our technology allows us to provide you with the fine texture and adhesive strength best suited for your needs.

Please come see all the options that are available.

Jubako Boxes from Time & Style

From Hasami City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Hasami porcelain has been part of the history of Japanese pottery for roughly 400 years.

In the beginning, ceramics were at the heart of the production, but with the discovery of the clay used to make porcelain in the 19th century, porcelain gradually became the main type of ware to be produced. White, celadon and underglaze cobalt blue porcelains are the staple of Hasami porcelain.

Hasami boasts the largest porcelain production in Japan, using the elegant, white Amakusa clay to create sophisticated dishes.

Surrounded by other leading names in Japanese pottery production, such as Arida, Imari and Mikawachi, Hasami continues to make dishes for everyday use.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Japanese dinner table, with its assortment of different ceramics, porcelain, lacquerware and glassware, has been influenced by the evolution of Hasami porcelain dishes.

Boxes have held a special place within the Japanese traditional culture for centuries. From the bento lunch boxes to New Years gift boxes, each type has its own traditional use. Nowadays a lot of these boxes are lacquerware. However, our weighty porcelain ju-bako are a new take on this tradition. They can be used to preserve food, or as a serving bowl at the table. They can also be used  to put objects in.

We have two sizes and different colors that can me mixed colors.

Small: W85xD85xH43

Large: W130xD130xH53

Tonkatsu Sauce

This organic sauce could be likened to a dark "Japanese ketchup".

In Japan it accompanies a very common dish called tonkatsu: a breaded pork dish made at home or eat out. This is always served with “tonkatsu sauce”, rice, and salad. We also use the sauce with fried noodles called  and various other dishes like grilled meats, even fries etc. 

Its texture is creamy and its taste is between ketchup and Worcester sauce. A little sweet and little salty.

Ingredients: Vegetables, fruits (organic tomato, organic onion, organic carrot), organic vinegar (organic rice vinegar, organic apple vinegar), organic sugar, organic soy sauce, salt, spices, malt extract, (some ingredients contain soybeans and wheat).

Makanai Bath Salts

From the famous Makanai cosmetic company we have a selection of various flavors that all have colorful and cute packaging.

Each pack comes with 2 bath salts. We have: Sakura, Green Tea, Yuzu (Japanese Lemon), Mikan (Japanese tangerine), Hinoki Wood, Peach, Mint, Rose, Rice, Jasmine.

There are testers at the store as well so that you can smell each.

Tampopo / Dandelion objet d'Art by Takao Inoue

Born in 1970 in Fukouka Japan, Takao Inoue is a Fine artist, Cinematographer and Researcher of Shiro Kuramata Based in Tokyo. After working in films and photography and art he made is first dandylion in 2009.

He wanted  “to make a wish, the moment makes us release by something.... To live this chaos world, we need something like Art, Cinema, Nature... Seeing this little one for a short time, I hope you could take a rest only a few of the time.”

Each Dandylion is unique as he carefully molds them in acrylic. There are no bubbles. These make wonderful gifts for someone or for yourself.

We have them at our store.

Japanese Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is made from rice and it is sweeter, milder, and less acidic than western vinegars.  It is an essential ingredient in sushi rice and sunomono (a kind of cucumber salad that is a very popular addition to your meal or obento).

Also, rice vinegar is known for its anti-bacterial properties and this is why it is often used in Japanese dishes that include raw fish, seafood and meat.

We use this for many things including sushi, maki rolls, chirashi, pickles etc:

Simple and convenient recipe for maki:

- Cook Japanese sushi rice which is sticky and let it cool down a bit.

- Put nori seaweed on a bamboo roll if you have it or just do it by hand. We use cling film as well because it helps to keep the shape and any bits of sticky rice together without the mess.

- Put some rice vinegar on the rice.

- Inside you can put raw tuna or salmon or crab, cucumbers, avocado, egg roll, etc. There really aren’t any strict rules so just put in what you want. It’s always nice to make it colorful with your own inspiration.

- Simply roll it up and cut it to finger bite sizes

Chirashi another simple dish which is fun and versatile and colorful.

- Make rice. Add some rice vinegar.

 - On top you can put fish, fish eggs, shellfish, chicken breast, shiso herb, avocado, cucumber, and whatever you like.

- Keep it colorful. Every bite should be a mix of tastes.

- It is also a very popular dish on long shinkansen “Bullet train” rides. Nourishing and yummy.

Its flavor is sweet, slightly acidic and rich in umami because it contains Kombu.

This artisanal vinegar is made to flavor the rice used in sushi preparation. It can also be used for salad seasoning or to make pickles. To prepare 350g of cooked sushi rice (or half weight dry rice), mix 2 tablespoon of vinegar in the cooked rice.

Pure rice vinegar (Akitakomachi organic rice), sugar, salt, mirin, kombu.

Store in a cool, dry place, away from light.

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Japanese Basket Vases

Bamboo is a common theme in Japanese literature and a favored subject of painters and craftsmen. With the abundance of bamboo in Japan and the variety of species, we have many uses for it.

Along with the evergreen pine and plum, which is the first flower of spring, bamboo is a part of the traditional Three Friends of Winter. The three are a symbol of steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience. Japanese artists have often represented bamboo enduring inclement weather, such as rain or snow, reflecting its reputation for being flexible but unbreakable, and its association with steadfastness and loyalty.

These “karamono” baskets had formal, symmetrical structures with tightly plaited weaves. It was the 16th-century tea master Sen no Rikyū (1522–1591) who advocated for a simple, austere wabi-cha style with natural and spontaneous or seemingly artless utensils. These tea utensils established a Japanese bamboo art distinct. Baskets were developed to appear in a natural, asymmetric style, called wamono (Japanese-style, 和物). Recognition of bamboo craftsmanship as a traditional Japanese decorative art began at the end of the 19th century, and became accepted as an art form.

Most of the master artisans designated Living National Treasures are selected from among participants in the annual Japan Kōgei Association exhibitions. Whereas the annual Japan Art Academy exhibitions (日展, Nitten) emphasize artistic expression, the Art and Crafts exhibitions prioritize the preservation of traditional skills and typically feature functional, though modern, baskets. In the postwar era, many of the leading bamboo artists were linked to established lineages.  Although most artists are men, a number of female artists have emerged recently, such as Toshie Ōki (大木 淑恵), and Setsuko Isohi (磯飛 節子, 1964)

Strong, yet lightweight and flexible, bamboo is a challenging material to work with. Mastering the art involves not only weaving the bamboo, but harvesting, processing, dyeing and splicing it. Yet, it has huge potential to be expressive.

Since the ancient days this tradition has carried on with many new designers and craftsmen who have come up with different styles.  

We have a selection of vintage baskets at our store. Many different styles. All are precious, we buy them in Japan from specialist dealers. 

Yuzu Kosho - Japanese Citris Pepper

Japanese condiment made from fresh chiles (most often green or red Thai or bird's eye chiles) then fermented with salt along with zest and juice from yuzu.

Yuzu kosho is a chilies (usually green or red bird’s eye chilies) which is fermented with  yuzu (Japanese citris) until it becomes a thick delicious paste. We like to have it in mixed in with the soy sauce used to dip in sashimi, sometimes gyoza, etc. It’s a wonderful seasoning from everything including sauces, dressings, and we use it on everything from grilled meats, vegetables, beef tartar, pizza’s, etc.

Beautiful balance between green chili and fresh yuzu, no bitterness. One thing that is particularly special is that it cuts through strong flavors such as fish, fatty meats, etc without overwhelming the taste. It just lightens and freshens the taste.

Ingredients: Yuzu peel, pepper, salt.

Come try some at our store. If you like your food with a little spice, you will be addicted like we are.

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Millisecond Aluminum Tapemeasure

Established March 31st 1993, Metrocs is an interior design brand that introduces Japanese outstanding products designs, carrying authentic quality products that are timeless and will increase in value over the years. They do not believe in buying design because of the designer's name but because of finding the item itself appealing. That is the point where the learning process starts: first about the designer and thereafter possibly purchasing his/hers other items for a collection.

This measure is made by the world highest level of metal cutting technique. Its Φ 50 mm disc-type shape is curved out from the aluminum, and surfaces are slightly concave to fit the fingers. There are three holes on the edge that you can put on your favorite keychain, strap & etc. It has an antibacterial soft textured tape made of glass fiber, and a stop button is attached.

The brand's name MiLLiSECOND means one-thousandth second, in a word 'a moment'. This shows the concept of the brand that produces the products attracting the people in a millisecond.

MiLLiSECOND means one-thousandth second, in a word 'a moment'. This shows the concept of the brand that produces the products attracting the people in a millisecond.

The brand was born in a project Takeda Design Project which is the collaboration of Caro.inc, the design office and Takada, the metal processing manufacturer in Tsubame, Niigata Prefecture.

Ampanman & Friends

Anpanman is a Japanese picture book series written by Takashi Yanase, running from 1973 until the author's death in 2013. The series has been adapted into an anime entitled Soreike! Anpanman.

The series follows the adventures of Anpanman, a superhero with an anpan (a bean-jam filled pastry) for a head, who protects the world from an evil anthropomorphic germ named Baikinman (Baikin means germ). Baikinman’s sidekick is a blue girl named Dokin-chan.

The world is populated by all types of little characters made from different types of Japanese breads.

The main character, Anpanman flies around and rescues his fellow friends by offering tem to bite a piece of his head. This sounds very strange but  Jam Ojisan (meaning Jam Grandpa) bakes his replacement head everyday. 

For a full list of characters please see the following link. http://www.awgosh.com/anpanmanchara.html

You can watch clips and episodes on youtube. It is very colorful and little kids love the show.

We have some of the characters at our store.

Sakurai Kokeshi Wooden Dolls

As our clients know, we always find special vintage Kokeshi dolls. We will of course continue to have a selection, however we have found a more modern company that we will have at our store. A more modern take on Kokeshi with different colors and patterns. We hope you enjoy these as well.

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This is their companies story:

The Kokeshi studio/shop of Akihiro Sakurai, is located in Naruko, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

Naruko, a very famous spa community, has one of the oldest and strongest traditions of Kokeshi that dates back more than a hundred years. Surrounded by the majestic nature of Naruko and nurtured by a lively flow of travelers, they are always striving for further sophistication while honoring generations of family Kokeshi tradition—meeting contemporary demands while promoting Kokeshi culture. They produce traditional Kokeshis in types such as “Iwazo,” “Mannojo,” and “Eikichi,” (all named after their ancestors) as well as wooden Hina-ningyo type Kokeshis.

Kokeshi has a tradition nurtured by harsh winters, blessing of hot springs, and uncompromising craftspeople-kokeshi, a type of simple, traditional wooden doll, is thought to have originated as a children's toy during the mid-19th century in the hot-springs communities deep within the mountains of today's Miyagi Prefecture. In the mid-20th century, people "discovered" kokeshi, and the emergence of collectors transformed it from an everyday toy to a coveted treasure for all generations. With their stark simplicity and gentle expressions, kokeshis have long been used as beloved gifts suitable to a variety of occasions, such as birthdays, house warmings, weddings, and births, and as unique design objects to illuminate contemporary homes.

This companies Kokeshi tradition goes back to Matagoro Ohnuma, who is believed to be the founder of Naruko Kokeshi, towards the end of the Edo period. Since then, surrounded by the abundant nature and hot springs of Naruko, they have produced Kokeshi for generations.

Although the environment that surrounds Kokeshi has changed drastically over the course of 150 years—including social transformations, booming demand, and changing taste—their fundamental attitude towards Kokeshi has remained unchanged: pursuit of tradition and exploration of new possibilities.

Today, with an aging and declining population and challenges faced within the local economy, the situation of Kokeshi craft in Naruko is not an easy one. However, with Akihiro’s young son, Naomichi returned back from Tokyo his studies in Tokyo, and are striving to revitalize this unique craft in a sustainable way, accommodating contemporary demands while maintaining tradition.

We hope you enjoy our selection of new Kokeshi!