Category Archives: traditional japan

Limited run of commemorative Ed Sheeran sake on sale from 8 April

The perfect collaboration for Ed’s fans and alcoholics, or is it for alcoholic Ed Sheeran fans? Nah Put up a record of him and sip slowly from a tiny cup of this delicious sake…it’s paradise!

Although it’s sure to make one scratch their head at first, it actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Sheeran frequently mentions his tendency to tie one on with friends, and the sake industry is constantly trying to reach out to a more diverse crowd, namely younger people and women.

So, as Sheeran’s unique blend of folk-soul-pop returns to Japan on the Divide World Tour 2019, Konshi Brewing in Hyogo Prefecture decided the time was right to release Ed Sheeran Sake.

First, there’s the Ed Sheeran Junmai Ginjo sake which is a finely-produced beverage using only the purest ingredients, resulting in a mellow yet slightly crisp flavor with a tangy aromatic tinge, not unlike the hit “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” Speaking of which, the bottle is colored with the same orange as Sheeran’s breakout album +.

▼ Here’s an image of the album, pronounced “plus.”

▼ And here is the color-matching sake.

However, this is a standard sake, and as such has a relatively high alcohol content at around 15 percent. If you’d like something lighter and bubblier along the lines of “Shape of You,” then you may want to try a bottle of Ed Sheeran Sparkling Sake.

With only a 10 percent ABV, this carbonated sake comes in a blue labeled bottle using the same shades as his ÷ album (pronounced “divide”). Both bottles are also decorated with drawings of little cat paws that Konshi says belong to Sheeran’s own pet feline.

Each type is limited to 3,000 bottles and go on sale at AEON shopping centers across Japan from 8 April. They’re slightly on the pricey side at 2,000 yen (US$18) for a 720-milliliter (24-ounce) bottle, but it’s still low enough to take the plunge and pick one up. I mean, how often does a chance to score some Ed Sheeran sake come along?

Our excuses for the few posts recently, but we have been very busy with several ventures, our most recent venture as media fixer for foreign media crews has let us without any time to update our blog. Of course we haven’t left our customers in the wind, all ordered products have been successfully purchased and shipped. Thank you for your loyalty and trust.

JWS

J-Scent, perfumes that capture the aromas of Japan

Ah, perfume! What a vast array of scents that word includes. From standard florals and musks to more outlandish aromas like tanuki raccoon dog or Attack on Titan characters, there’s a dizzying selection to choose from. Or perhaps it’s just spending too long in the perfume section that’s making you light-headed.

If your lady love is a Japan fan, you can bypass all those testers and head straight for the J-Scent Collection: a series of perfumes that evoke uniquely Japanese aromas. They’ve just released their first three scents, Agarwood, Roasted Green Tea and Wasanbon.

Now, agarwood is a resinous heartwood produced when lign-aloe trees are infected with a particular type of mold. It’s a rare and expensive ingredient that it is commonly used in fine perfumes. It’s also used in traditional Japanese incense, so it’s not surprising to find it in this line.

▼ Agarwood: so you too can smell like moldy wood

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Roasted Green Tea and Wasanbon, on the other hand, are not your typical perfume scents.

Roasted Green Tea, or hojicha, in Japanese, is a very popular beverage and is served both hot and cold. It has a warming, earthy scent, especially as the leaves are being roasted. According to the manufacturer, this perfume recalls that and “the feeling of having a chat with an intimate friend.”

Wasanbon is an expensive fine-grained sugar produced in the south of Japan from sugarcane. It is primarily used in making wagashi, or traditional Japanese sweets. I can’t say that there is any particular smell associated with it, but the product description says it’s “a friendly scent with the image of delicate wagashi.”

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They all sound like nice subtle scents that could make for a thoughtful Valentine’s day gift, though you might want to be careful they get you fired up for the wrong activity.

▼ “Mmm, baby, your perfume makes me want to eat a bunch of sugar and have a cup of tea.”

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Rocketnews 24, slightly edited by the lazy folks of JWS

Source: At Press

Get ultra lazy in this luxurious Zetton chair.

As (pretend)head of a family of five, I often have hard decisions to make when it comes to budgeting. Spend our money on retainers  or get a new BBQ set, buy winter coats for the kids or a Victoria Secret set for the missus….choices, choices, decisions, decisions..being a dad is hard at some times. Once in a blue moon however something pops up and spending my hard earned cash on it seems like a no-brainer and unimportant things like school tuition and life insurance payments fade to the back of my wallet.

When I was a child there was always a “father chair” in the house, a chair you wouldn’t sit down in without asking your old man’s permission. A beautiful leather  throne which you warn your hyper energetic friend about not to sit in when dad was around.

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My father would sit in it smoking his pipe and  we mortals crawled up on the sofa while watching “The six million dollar man”. Well I found my chair and I am going to get it and nobody will be allowed to sit in it without my permission…so it won’t be in the living room because I have lost all authority there, same goes for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, but I`ll use it at the office, a place where people still respect my sandwich labeled “boss” in the fridge and use close to polite language when addressing me…

Meet the Zetton Chair!

Made out of fine Italian Leather(Italian cows?) and sewn by skilled craftsmen, this premium chair was made to commemorate the first Ultraman TV broadcast fifty years ago.

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While Zetton isn’t the most handsome lad, somehow the folks of Karimoku Furniture and MAN OF ULTRA have incorporated all characteristics  which make Zetton such a ugly monster into a most beautiful chair. The wrinkled white arms and legs which remind you of an 80 year old love in a swimsuit, the way its black skin covers those milky arms like a loose swimsuit… The back is fitted with deformed shaped studs which were mounted one by one and resemble Zetton rear side perfectly.

Call it furniture, call it art, you don’t have to be an Ultraman lover to appreciate this chair, it’s not only well designed, it’s also extremely well made with the finest materials and it’s comfy…ooooh so comfy with its “3D net” cushion material and soft leather which wrapped around your body make you resemble a tortilla.

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It comes with a ottoman to lay your tired feet on…

The backrest resembles Zetton’s chest pattern

The price for this is 500.000 yen, not cheap, but no good furniture is and this chair will last you a life time. I always say “if you have the dough, let it flow!” and if you don’t then you can always sell a kidney on the black market…trust me this chair is worth it.

Serge Roso JWS

ultra man chair

For more information, please fill out the form.

 

Japan couture at its finest, men’s winter kimono sets and coats.

Kyoto-based fashion brand Wazigen Shizukuya’s creative philosophy is all about taking traditional samurai-era clothing designs and giving them modern updates. That fascination with the flow of time extends to the frequency with which it updates its catalog, as the company released new lines earlier this year in both the summer and fall.

We received  a lot of interest and inquiries into these products and we were able to get our hands on a few and sent them to some very lucky customers as far as New York and South Africa!

With cold weather now setting in, stylish contemporary samurai need a way to keep warm. Following up on its line of high-class samurai hoodies form last year, Wazigen Shizukuya has just unveiled more than a dozen new fashion options for winter.

Starting with the fundamentals of samurai fashion, Wazigen Shizukuya has three new paired sets of kimono and hakama pants.

▼ Wool/silk hakama and wool/polyester kimono with silk lining (left), wool/polyester hakama and silk kimono (right); hakama priced at 40,000 yen (US$350), kimono at 45,000 yen

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▼ Polyester hakama and wool kimono with silk lining (45,000 yen each)

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For when it’s time to bundle up, Wazigen Shizukuya can set you up with a vest-like leather Battle Formation Parka for 195,000 yen…

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…a polyester hanesode wrap with flared, wing-like drapings (70,000 yen)…

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…a hooded robe, made of a polyester/cotton/acrylic blend, with warm cupra rayon lining (185,000 yen)…

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…or one of four different Iverness coats, made with material ranging from nylon to alpaca wool, and prices starting at 80,000 yen and topping out at 130,000.

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And finally, if you want to go really old-school, Wazigen Shizukuya also has straight-up capes. Wool, acrlic, and polyester shells are available, all with cupra linings, and prices run from 80,000 to 110,000 yen.

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Quantities on select pieces are extremely limited, so if you’re looking to add these to your wardrobe, you’ll want to contact Wazigen Shizukuya right away or of course let us contact them and or visit them, before samurai from some rival clan snatch them all up for themselves.

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Rocketnews 24 edited by Japan Web Shopping JWS

Impress your Japanese history professor with this T-shirt

It could even double as a cheat sheet for your next exam!

If you’ve been paying any attention at all in your Japanese history classes, then the names Sekigahara, Tokugawa, and Mitsunari may already be familiar to you. For those of you who can’t resist the call of sleep during hour-long lectures about near-ancient history delivered in a monotone voice, a concise summary:

The Battle of Sekigahara was a decisive battle fought on the 15th day of the 9th month in the 5th year of the Keichō period, which happens to be October 21, 1600. Two armies fought in the battle: the Eastern Army, led by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the Western Army, led by Ishida Mitsunari. Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Eastern Army won the battle. Thus began the Tokugawa shogunate, the last shogunate in Japan.

Why should you care? Because you’ll need to be able to explain all of this when someone asks you about the cool shirt you’ve got on.

▼ Meet the team from the East: Hosokawa Tadaoki, Ii Naomasa, Fukushima Masanori, Honda Tadakatsu, Tōdō Takatora, Kuroda Nagamasa, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Kobayakawa Hideaki

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Sengoku Corporation recently unveiled this simple, yet stylish t-shirt at a special event in Nagoya and announced that it would be available for sale at an exclusive web shop on September 30th.  The cost of the shirt is for 5000 yen (US $48.69) and it is emblazoned with armored helms unique to the commander whom it represents, along with the names of each commander and the respective army for which they fought the epic Sekigahara battle.

▼Representing the West side: Tachibana Muneshige, Ootani Yoshitsugu, Ishida Mitsunari, Shima Sakon, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Konishi Yukinaga, Ukita Hideie, Ankokuji Ekei

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If history isn’t your thing, Sengoku Corporation also has a pair of tights and a curiously large umbrella bag that will go on sale the same day.

Images: Sengoku Corporation
[ Read in Japanese ]

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Reebok releases limited edition Instapump Fury Road sneakers to celebrate upcoming Godzilla movie

tep out in a pair of Godzilla kicks featuring a number of awesome beastly details.

If Godzilla ever needed a new pair of shoes, these sneakers would be up to the task. A joint collaboration between Reebok and the MegaHouse brand that belongs to video game publishing giant Bandai Namco, the new sneakers come in two designs: Reebok CLASSIC × MegaHouse Instapump Fury Road Ver.GODZILLA and the Reebok CLASSIC × MegaHouse Instapump Fury Road Ver.ShinGodzilla.

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Both use the distinctive Reebok Instapump Fury silhouette, and the Godzilla version features a textured black material which resembles the skin of the giant monster.

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▼ The design that runs along the side of the shoe is another homage to the beast.

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▼ And just to let everyone know whose shoes you’re wearing, the heel is emblazoned with the title “King of the Monsters”.

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The soles feature a spectacular red-and-black clawed footprint design, along with the words “Godzilla Vs. Fury Road” in Japanese.

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While the Godzilla sneakers celebrate the awesome stylings of the original beast, the “Shin Godzilla” design acts as a nod to its latest incarnation, set to wreak havoc on Tokyo in the upcoming Shin Godzilla movie, which will be out in Japanese theatres on July 29 and marketed internationally under the title, Godzilla Resurgence.

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These kicks incorporate phosphorescent material into the design, to create an otherworldly glow after dark.

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The grey, black and green colours of the shoe are complimented with red accents, including a bloody, three-clawed gash on the heel.

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These soles feature a slightly different Godzilla footprint design, again using the words, “Godzilla Vs. Fury Road” in Japanese.

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Both styles retail for 28,000 yen (US$263.89) each, plus tax, with the Premium Bandai website in Japan accepting pre-orders from July 29, to coincide with the release of the new Godzilla film. For a full list of retailers in Japan that will be stocking the shoes from the official on-sale date in January 2017, check out the MegaHouse website for more details.

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Source, Images: PR Times

If you are interested please fill in the form below.

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Summer time…Yukata time!

It’s almost that time of the year again, the cicadas sing their songs, the mosquitoes sharpen their claws and people practice their Bon dance moves. When summer knocks on Japan’s door, the country turns into one happy party of amazing fire works displays, cold beer, and summer festivals. The time has come to dust off the Yukata (casual cotton kimono) or get a whole new outfit all together.

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The great thing about yukata is that they are easy to put on, making them accessible for everyone. The knot in the obi might be the only hard part, but a quick search on google will solve that problem, and if you use your yukata as room gown you don’t even have to worry about that.

Hishiya Calen Blosso Yukata collection 2016.

They teamed up with designer Nishioka Pencil (?) and created this Okinawa’s  traditional Bingata dyeing technique  inspired yukata line. Clear and vivid colors mark this line and the TeleTubbies hairstyle of the model show how thin the line has become between traditional and “mode”.

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57,240 yen

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Cayhane has come up with a Kimono for novice users and advance users who are willing to try something “new”.

The two part yukata is a true versatile piece of clothing, you can use the bottom as a skirt and the top part as an one piece….combine them together and you have a yukata!

The prices are also more than reasonable, averaging 7,000 yen .

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ツチナアミナナユカタ

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カガランアミナナユカタ

 

Tsukikageya releases new line with adorable kitty and bear prints

For those who want to forgo bright colors and instead opt for something calmer but not less interesting, these kitty and bear printed yukata may be the way to go.

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And bears, because nothing says summer like some cute bears..

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These ribbons covered yukata is probably one of the cutest yukata you can find.

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These come at a price though..each yukata costs 55,529 yen (about US$500).

If you like  the more orthodox way, than AEON department has a lovely line-up for you which according to AEON’s policy won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

14,800 yen for yukata
9,800 yen

Shipping on these yukata won’t be high due to the fact that they are rather light, so mail us for info and let us know how we can help you.

Serge Roso JWS

Useful art: Porcelain sake glass.

Do you drink your Chateau Margaux from a paper cup, your Duvel beer straight from the bottle?

Click away, now you cultural barbarian, because the “rice wine glass” is for those who enjoy the best things in life to the full. A basic product, no matter how good, is  not at its best without the proper accessories…a lovely cognac is so much better experienced in a tulip or balloon glass than in a small glass with ice. A Canon D1 will take such better pictures when equipped with a proper lens..hey even I became a better version of myself after I met my wife (but this is more due to diligent training).

So why would you spend 18,000 yen on a glass to drink a 5000 yen sake?  Well simply because you can. If you have the means to live a life with few limitations, why would you limit yourself to drinking sake from an inferior glass?

The Rice wine glass’ foot,  stem and  bowl are made out of one piece, a first in the world. The soil used is of the highest quality used for Amakusa pottery from Kumamoto prefecture. Any sake lover worth his salt will tell you that sake is best drunk from a porcelain cup.  The fine craftsmen from  Tashiro Toukiten  shaped the glass to look like a rice kernel and its almost sexy in shape, held against the light you can do nothing but admire the beauty of this glass.

There are no limits to what you can put in this glass of course, even beer would taste better in this glass and yeah you can put your chateaux Margaux in it too…..what are you still doing here, you Neanderthal  !

This would make agreat fatherday’s gift too, and even if your father hasn’t tried the delights of Japanese sake, he’ll sure be willing to give it a try with this glass!

Check out Tashiro Toukiten onlineshop to find more amazing tableware

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Serge Roso JWS

Extremely stylish rotating fan will set you back some serious yen.

When it comes to household items that are “beautiful,” there are all sorts of things that might fit the description. For example, glassware, lacquer ware containers, or, if you’re really getting crazy, even toilets could be viewed artistically — but when it comes to electric fans, they’re all pretty much function over form. Sure Dyson has some wicked good looking fans, but changes are big that most of your trendy friends already owe one….besides that, Dyson’s modern designs don’t fit in any room.

Panasonic is about to change all that with a very limited-edition electric fan featuring a laquered case and gold-colored interior.

 

All of this combines to create an electric fan that looks more like a relic from the Heian court than a modern functional device.

▼ We can almost imagine Murasaki Shikibu writing next to it in the summer.

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The glossy exterior is the result of the application of Echizen lacquer, a traditional Fukui Prefecture craft with a history that goes back 1,500 years. Each of the fans, which are part of Panasonic’s “air generator” lineup called simply “Q”, are individually lacquered by crafts workers. As you can imagine, a product like this is a bit of a rarity, and the company plans to release only 100 units.

 

▼ We can’t blame them! Lacquering 100 fans is more than enough work.

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▼ Though they certainly do look amazing!

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And, in case you’ve forgotten, these air generator fans are totally functional — they offer two modes: Air circulation and electric fan mode. The air circulator mode is designed to output a blast of air while the fan mode is designed to create something that feels like a cool, natural breeze.

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If you’d like to see the fan in action, be sure to check out the commercial below! It’s way, way more dramatic than an ad for an electric appliance needs to be.

▼ And yet, it’s also kind of awesome!

If you’re thinking you need one of these limited-edition, super fancy fans for your home, you can buy one now! But be warned, this will probably be the most expensive electric fan you ever see — Panasonic isn’t even offering a recommended retail price! However, they do say that it will likely cost about 100,000 yen or about US$920.

▼ It’s outrageous! But…also super pretty.

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You can purchase one of these special lacquered Q fans on Amazon Japan, though if you live overseas, you’ll need Japanwebshopping. And if you like the design, but don’t want to spend quite so much money, you can also get a regular Q fan for 28,800 yen (about $265).

パナソニック サーキュレーター 創風機Q クリスタルレッド F-BL25Z-R

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

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Kabuki performer Ainosuke Kataoka and Nikko create a breathtaking kumadori mask.

Famous Kabuki performer Ainosuke Kataoka has teamed up with Ishikawa Prefecture’s veteran ceramic manufacturer Nikko and 3D scanning experts  K’s design lab to create a handmade 3D scan in bone china of his face wearing Kabuki’s traditional face painting called Kumadori.

The make-up describes what kind of character the performer portrays, red and white are the colors of heroes and warriors, Blue makeup can represent a ghost, spirit, or other magical creature and Greys and browns can be used sometimes, particularly when representing animals, oni (demons), yōkai (monsters..yokai watch!), or anything else inhuman.

The pattern chosen by Ainosuke Kataoka is that of  Suji-kuma of the Aragato Kabuki samurai. The mask will come autographed and in a beautiful box. This is a piece of art made for true lovers of Kabuki and mask collectors.

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This mask will be limited to 10 pieces only though and reservations will start at 10 Am on June the first….making it even harder to get than a kabuki ticket!

It doesn’t come cheap either at a price of ¥ 1,080,000, but that’s the price one has to pay for exclusivity and beauty…..

 

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If you can get your hands on one of these, you’ll probably have the only copy outside Japan and that makes it even more desirable as a collector’s item.

We will try to reserve a copy for you, but in this case, we can’t make you any promises. You can’t be short strapped for money though, as shipping will be costlier than usual, you don’t want us to toss this in a big envelope, tie it to a pigeon, say a little prayer and release it…

Serge Roso JWS

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