Uno Hake Brush for Cashmere Clothing

Clothing Brush (for cashmere)

Materials: Horse hair / Katsura wood

Place of Origin: Japan

Uno Hake brushes started their business in 1917. Currently Ms. Chieko Uno wiorks with her daughter Michiyo to continue their family craft.

“Hake” are brushes formed by two separate pieces of wood that bind the hair and the hair fibers are planted by hand inside the wooden holes and strung together. After this the hairs are cut to symmetry.

These brushes have been modernized to have an array of modern uses. For home use, to clean your face, body, clothes, shoes, etc.

To achieve this the animal hairs need to be chosen and prepared for each product. If pig, horse, goat, boar hair has a different texture. Each hair needs to be treated with oil.  The mother and daughter of the Uno family have a history with these materials and create products suitable for each occasion.

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Miso Guide

Now that it’s getting cold it’s a good time for warm nourishing miso soup and other warm dishes with miso. Here is a small guide to choosing what type of miso to get and some recipes. 

We have many types of miso in Japan but all made from fermented soybeans. We use each type for various dishes depending on how strong or light you want the taste. Miso is very good for your health as it is rich in Vitimins B, E, K, and folic acid. Fermented food in general is really good for your stomach as it brings in good bacteria, much the same as yogurt does. If you are making miso soup, after you have boiled all of your vegetables or seafood, turn off the fire and add the miso. Once you have added the miso enjoy the soup. Please don’t boil the miso soup after you have added the miso as that will kill all the good bacteria and vitamins in the miso. 

The three types of Miso: 

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Shiro Miso (White Miso): A very light yellowish miso.  It is fermented for less time (2-8 weeks) making it more mild and sweet. If you are new to using miso in your cooking, we recommend that you start with the light one and then use the darker ones later.

It is good for a light soup where you want to accentuate the taste of the vegetables or mushrooms or seafood. This is also a good miso to use for dressings, light marinades, and glazes.

Shinshu Miso (Yellow Miso):

This is the most typical “all purpose” type of miso that is kept in the fridge. It is bit stronger than shiro miso and is good for the same types of food. Marinade, dressings, soups, etc. If the miso is really good we also like to dip raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, radish, etc directly.  

Aka Miso (Red Miso):

A very dark miso with a color that goes from dark red to brown. This is the strongest and saltiest type of miso. It is made with more soybeans and is fermented for up to 3 years. You only need to add a little to add taste to your dish. This is good for marinating and roasting fish, meats, eggplant (nasu dengaku). It is very delicious when used correctly but be careful not to use too much as it is quite salty. 

Some miso recipes that are easy, many recipes can be found online so find one that you seem comfortable making and enjoy experimenting:

- Miso soup (when we can’t find Japanese vegetables we use onions, eggplant, rocket, and a variety of vegetables, fish, seafood) 

- Cod fish with Miso Marinade

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- Miso Dengaku – Various ingredients grilled with Miso glaze. Eggplant (aubergine), Tofu, Daikon, etc can be used. For this recipe we recommend a darker Miso for a stronger Miso Flavor. 

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- Steamed or boiled seafood with a light Miso dip or vinaigrette. For this we recommend a light Miso.   

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- Chicken with scallions and Miso pan grilled. 

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 Enjoy using miso in many ways!

Kinto

KINTO

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Kinto design studio since 1972. A brand specializing in professional and home use coffee and tea accessories.

Let your day be filled with what inspires you.

It's about slowing down and seeing the beauty of nature in the change of seasons. It's about savoring a delightful dish with close family and friends to unwind and feel wholesome. It's about coming to understand the joys of finding things that feel just right in your hands. We imagine the scenes that enrich your life to develop and bring you products with genuine creativity and thoughtfulness.

Usability and aesthetics. We as makers, value the balance between these two elements. Products with an ease of use is comforting to all the senses and lead to a growing fondness over time. A tableware with elegant presence blends naturally with the living space and adds color to daily life. 

We aspire to create products that stand by you in your everyday life. This is why we continue to seek inspiration from moments and stories held precious by the users. We work to create products which will inspire and give fulfillment with every touch and use.

Inspirations may come from dining experiences, interior spaces, or fields such as fashion. Our passion is ignited by diverse cultures and lifestyles. Often our designs are rooted in Japanese traditions and interpreted in a way that fits with the modern lifestyles all around the world.

To make the daily life richer and more comfortable.

Kosho-Kosho Charm  by  Peloqoon  

A Googly  eyed  character, DzKosho-Koshodz  charm  from a  handmade  plush doll.  Produced by “Beams Japan”

"Peloqoon" by  Madoka  Morikawa. Put  on  a key  chain  or on  a  bag  to  snuggle up  the  fluffy cuddle  buddy  in your  daily  life.   Peloqoon:  Peloqoon  is a  handmade  plush doll  by  Madoka Morikawa  and  the name  of  the brand  is  a coined  word  combining Japanese  onomatopoeia  of dog  slurp,DzPelo-Pelodz  and sniff  sound,  DzKun-Kundz. The  brand  offers creepy  yet  cute characters.  

We have several Sizes and colors at our store and online.

Makanai Bath Salts

Now that winter has come, it’s time to enjoy hot baths and different types of 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.

Ama Divers

Ama-san are Japanese women. The culture of these women is over 5000 years old. Deep sea divers that would traditionally dive naked with a loin cloth and a knife in their back to pry off and collect abalone and oysters and other shellfish, and seaweed. Sometimes weights are used to go down faster. They are connected with a rope that helps them to climb up faster to a wooden tub so they can leave their catch and rest before going back down. 

Women are said to be able to free dive deeper than men from up to 8 meters down holding their breath for two minutes without any aid of oxygen.  Even in very cold water they start early in the morning. Usually with their husbands in the boat.  This is generations of women, including grandmothers who dove together. The tradtion was passed from mothers to daughters. After their catch they would sit on the beach with their family and kids and all eat breakfast. A very matriarchal society in a time when women were supposed to be at home. They were part of the work force and very much respected. 

After WW2 when there was western judgment about nudity, the woman started to wear clothes and now with wetsuits. 

There are less Ama san now as the old culture has changed but you can still find them throughout Japan. 

Of course when diving for shellfish, sometimes an oyster is found with a pearl in it. Pearls are famous in Japan, mostly worn for family occasions but more and more they are used by fashion designers and trendy for younger girls. The design is different because with younger women, most prefer to wear small pearls with delicate patterns. 

For us pearls will always make us think of the Ama-san and a strong beautiful femininity that we respect.

We have some small pearls at our store. If you come by please have a look.  


Sugai World Clips

“Sugai World” clips are very  and come in different styles … animals, monster characters, etc.

An interview with Sugai World is as follows:

 

Q.1 What is the SUGAI WORLD ?

We are tokyo based happy design gift maker.

We plan and design all of our products, and ask Japanese factories to make them.

We are committed to creating unique and playful products, mainly stationery. And we are trying to make them from eco-friendly material as much as possible.

Q.2 How did it start the SUGAI WORLD, Inc.?

When our founder, Yu SUGAI, was working for another company, he started writing down his ideas about things that can change the life more comfortable and happier. (There are more than 20 idea-notebooks now. That was a way to reduce his stress in the packed train of everyday.

At first, He was just enjoying sharing his ideas with his friends. But someday, one of them said to him, “Your ideas are so fun! Why don’t you make them?” and he said “Why not !? Let’s do that!! “.

In 2011, we made the first product “Mustache-it”, a mustache shaped sticky note.

For the first 2 years, we were selling only the one. “Mustache-it” became a quite big hit riding the mustache-boom which came in those days. (That was a beginner’s luck!)

Q.3 What is the purpose of the SUGAI WORLD products?

People in Japan works very hard in a small space. So we want to make them to be able to work happier with our products. And also, we hope the same thing about people all of the world. Our mission is “give imagination and dream to the world ”.

Q.4 What is the dream of the SUGAI WORLD?

To communicate with people all over the world through our products. And we believe that will be a part of the world peace.

Vintage Kokeshi

Kokeshi are Japanese wooden dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The pattern of the trunk of the doll usually has a floral print although sometime there are variations. The bottom of the doll usually has the signature of the artist.

Kokeshi were first produced by kijishi artisans proficient with a potter's wheel near the Tōgatta Hotsprings where kokeshi-making techniques spread to other spa areas in the Tōhoku region. It is said that these dolls were originally made during the middle of the Edo period (early 1800’s) They might have been originally made by farmers who started carving these dolls during the long winters and sold as good luck dolls designed for fertility or a good harvest. These dolls were also for children. Eventually they were sold at hot springs for the many travelers who were visiting the hot springs in the north-east of the country. In the 1920’s these dolls started becoming collectors items. From then kokeshi artists started experimenting, making very large kokeshi, very small kokeshi, different shapes, styles, etc.

It wasn’t until after WW2 when Japan was occupied by US military forces, that these dolls became a curiosity overseas. Servicemen would bring back the dolls for their wives or family in America because they were particularly cute. Since then, there have been new types of Kokeshi with many artists experimenting with new styles that we follow, as well as some of the more traditional styles.

The woods used for kokeshi vary, with cherry used for its darkness and dogwood for its softer qualities. Itaya-kaede, a Japanese maple, is also used in the creation of both traditional and creative dolls. The wood is left outdoors to season for one to five years before it can be used.

"Traditional" kokeshi dolls' shapes and patterns are particular to a certain area and are classified under 11 different types named for the hot spring area that they originate from: Yajiro, Togatta, Narukyo, Sakunami, Tsuchiyu, Yamagata, Zao, Nanbu, Hijiori, Kijiyama, Tsugaru.

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"Creative" kokeshi (新型こけし shingata-kokeshi) are the new style of kokeshi developed after WW2 that allow the artist complete freedom in terms of shape, design and. They are not particular to a specific region of Japan and generally creative kokeshi artists are found in cities.

When looking for a vintage kokeshi there are 2 ways to choose. Some collectors look for a particular style to add to a collection, and some just look at a face and fall in love with it or the cut or style. This is part of the joy of being a kokeshi collector.

MOKULOCK Wood Blocks

Mokulock was a brand created by a technical company that makes electronic machinery, devices, parts, home appliances, medical equipment/medical electronic equipment, jigs, tools, mold components and toys.

MOKULOCK BLOCKS was primarily designed to develop children’s creativity and enhance their senses by stimulating them with its characteristics driven by its natural materials.

Despite such background, MOKULOCK’s customers are not limited to TOY retailers but all adults in DESIGN industry because of its appearance. The common impressions of people who touch MOKULOCK for the first time are very positive with unexpected joy and satisfaction of confirming the alternative utility of unused yet sustainable material.

Conditioning the natural material at the best moisture and temperature level is the most important process of making a precise toy, which will last for long time. The wood is dried for 6 months in a small room with a hydromatic heating system. It is then sent to be cut by a machine robot and then sanded by hand. After that each piece is inspected to make sure that it is flawless. From there everything is taken to the packaging facility. This company supports disabled people and relies on them to do the packaging.

Lifestyle of co-existing with nature nearby and depending on resources produced through cultivating the forest is still rooted in everyday life for many, making the unchanging character of the people of Yamagata.

Preservation of Natural Resources:

They maintain the local mountains for healthier environment.

Together with the help by local children, even MOKULOCK sawdust plays an important role as the fertilizer.

Since trees cannot thrive when growing close together in the mountains without sunlight filtering in, some trees in Yamagata are carefully cut down in winter using snow as a cushion. Trees cut down for forest thinning, and ones unsuited for architecture or furniture uses are to be processed into pieces that provide us delightful lives with warmth.

Since different types of wood are used, you will receive a box of different types of woods which include: Japanese Cherry, Japanese Zelkova, Hornbeam, Maple, Birch, Japanese Magnolia.

MOKULOCK is simply carved out from a solid piece of wood. No surface finishing oil, chemical, paint, or glue is used.

Moreover, MOKULOCK’s safeness has been proved by qualifications of various safety standard examinations around the world.

Uno Hake Brushes

Uno Hake brushes started their business in 1917. Currently Ms. Chieko Uno wiorks with her daughter Michiyo to continue their family craft.

“Hake” are brushes formed by two separate pieces of wood that bind the hair and the hair fibers are planted by hand inside the wooden holes and strung together. After this the hairs are cut to symmetry.

These brushes have been modernized to have an array of modern uses. For home use, to clean your face, body, clothes, shoes, etc.

To achieve this the animal hairs need to be chosen and prepared for each product. If pig, horse, goat, boar hair has a different texture. Each hair needs to be treated with oil.  The mother and daughter of the Uno family have a history with these materials and create products suitable for each occasion.

We have an exclusive line of products with this company at our store.

Hightide Tape Dispenser

A simple, rugged steel tape dispenser. With rust and scratch resistant hammer tone finish, industrial coloring is attractive. With two sizes of S / L, S size is perfect for masking tape etc. It is a tape base that is perfect for professional use with a bottom screw hole for fixing to a wall or desk. L size upgraded the body weight, renewed more easy to use on the desktop.

Current available colors: Navy, Red, Green

MARCOMONDE Socks

MARCOMONDE was launched in 2007.

MARCOMONDE is a coined word consisting of [MARCO=MARCO POLO] and [MONDE=WORLD]. It is a Japanese brand which offers products, mainly legwear. For each season, a country or a city is chosen as a theme, and products are designed and made after the designer actually visits the place and experiences culture, seeing their folk crafts, climate and inhabitants.

In the 13th century, Marco Polo, merchant in Venezia, made a voyage aboard a big boat, searching for the spice that had a value equivalent to gold. And he provided people in the world with the foreign culture that no one on those days had ever seen. A travel would build up the spiritual richness in a person. Since those days when Marco Polo lived, it has still remained unchanged even today that a person starts traveling, longing for the culture and history in a foreign country.

Brand, “MARCOMONDE,” is proposing on a collection by collection basis those items which would permit you to feel as if you were traveling in a country, with one of her eras taken for the collection’s theme, just like a pleasant happening you may encounter there during your travel.

We have their current collection for both male and female clients.

MARCOMONDE also have  a selection of “Tabi” socks. Tabi are traditional Japanese socks dating back to the 15th century when everyone wore geta or zori shoes which are similar to current flip flops where your large toe is separated from the other ones. This gives you good balance.  Many people still wear Tabi socks. In Japan, workmen also still use a type of  black Tabi  shoes because they more comfortable and give better stability while working.

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Ponzu dressing

Ponzu Sauce with 3 different types of citrus:

Make a delicious salad with Ponzu sauce or use it as a dipping sauce or a dressing.  Or just add it to any dish for more flavor. 

Ponzu is a popular and widespread sauce in Japan. It combines soy sauce, dashi (fish soup stock) and a Japanese citrus. It also often includes a little bit of vinegar or mirin. Its taste is very much appreciated as it is both fresh and deep and rich in umami.

You can make a salad and use cherry tomatoes, green salad, avocado, cucumbers, radish, daikon, fresh seaweed, mango, fruits, shiso, basil, and whatever vegetables and herbs you like. You can add chicken, tofu, tuna fish, scallops, meat, or what every you like.

We also use it as a dipping sauce for hotpot dishes or shabu shabu etc.

There are No specific rules on how you like to use it. Take a taste and let your imagination take you to enjoy a meal.

We have this at our store so please feel free to stop by and try to add it to your list condiment list. For us, it is just as a important to keep in the fridge next to soy sauce.



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. 

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!