Category Archives: traditional japan

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

Panasonic

 

 

 

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

Nikko

 

 

Japanwebshopping.com gets a Spring make-over.

It’s May, the flowers bloom, the birds lay eggs, the smell of fresh green grass tickles your prefrontal cortex….memories from  happy times are triggered and a feeling of nostalgia flows through your body. Life is good.  But May isn’t just a month of memories, it’s also a month of renewal, new wallpapers are chosen, Ikea is busier than ever and websites get a sunny make-over. Japanwebshopping has been sporting a very dark look, yeah we are freaks and we’re proud of it! Problem is that it was maybe a bit too otaku and scared away the casual shopper. We went to work and created a lighter and easier accessible site, while still holding on to our beloved black and gray (that we are great Yohji Yamamoto fans is something that goes without saying).

Let us know what you think about it, your opinion greatly matters to us.

japanwebshopping

Hirano JWS

 

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Star Wars jackets are the perfect combination of fashionable and geeky!

“Wear me, you will. Looking good, you will be.”

Fans of Star Wars and traditional Japanese clothing, your day has come! These new hanten, traditional short-sleeve Japanese jackets, perfectly mix old and new without going overboard in any direction. Called “和Robe” (“Wa-Robe” or literally “Japanese-style Robe”), the jackets come in beige, ivory, and black and you’ll have two designs, which feature different images on the inside of the jacket, to choose from. One jacket sports an image of Yoda on a rock looking contemplative and is available in beige only, and the other offers an image of the poster for the original Star Wars film, which you can have in black or ivory.

▼ Calm and serene or…

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▼ …vibrant and badass!!

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Of course, it might seem odd to put the graphics on the inside of the jackets, but we think it helps maintain a good balance. And each one features “Star Wars” in large, bold letters on the back of the collar, so your love for the franchise is never totally hidden.

▼ Also, you can do this “action star” pose in photographs!

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▼ He wouldn’t look out of place on Tatooine, would he?

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▼ The three jacket colors and lettering

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In addition to the jackets, a juban shirt (basically a Japanese-style undershirt) will also be available with a print that features both the Millennium Falcon and X-wing fighters. You can pair these undershirts with one of the Wa-Robes for a truly Star Wars-themed torso!

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▼ The bold lettering probably isn’t necessary here…but who’s complaining?

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The Wa-Robes and juban shirt won’t be available until June, but you can pre-order them now on Trove. The jackets are 19,440 yen each (about US$177) and the juban shirt is 11,880 yen (about $110).

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Sources: Trove

Ukiyoe releases Iron Maiden woodblock print featuring Eddie as a hellish courtesan

Forget running for the hills, we’re running to buy one of these amazing prints!

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Iron Maiden is, without question, one of the greatest metal bands in history. Their influence is nearly impossible to calculate at this point, but their signature sound has been getting crowds moving for four decades. Aside from their wide-ranging lyrics, galloping riffs, and Bruce Dickinson’s vocals, one of the most memorable aspects of the legendary band is their creepy-yet-delightful mascot Eddie.

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The zombie-like character appears on pretty much every album cover and piece of Iron Maiden merchandise you’ll find. And, you have to admit, he’s a perfect stand in for a six-piece band — he never ages, he’s instantly recognizable, and he never has to worry about make up for photo shoots!

But this has to be the most unique piece of Iron Maiden merchandise we’ve ever seen Eddie appear on: A limited-edition ukiyoe print! The print, pictured below, is titled “Jigoku Tayu Jitsu ha Edei” (which could be translated as “The Hell Courtesan Is Actually Eddie”)

▼ We love Eddie, but a beautiful courtesan he is not…

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Only 300 prints will be produced — each one hand-made by a team of Japanese artisans, including paper by living national treasure Iwano Ichibei, meaning every print will be unique. They’ll also feature one of our favorite details in an ukiyoe print ever, the iron maiden pictured below with the text “穢行銘傳之内”, which can be read “aian meiden no uchi.” The reading itself means “inside the iron maiden,” but if you take the kanji at face value, “aian meiden” means something like “the legend chronicling the impure act.” So, it works on several, gruesome levels!

▼ Who doesn’t love a good play on words, right?

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As with previous prints from the Ukiyoe Project, you won’t be able to purchase one for cheap — the price listed on their webstore is 108,000 yen (about US$966). The production is set to start soon, but finished prints aren’t expected to ship until the beginning of September, meaning these prints will be better as presents for the winter holidays than for Mother’s Day. They don’t have overseas shipping available , but but that’s our job, so leave it to us, we are already quite experienced ordering and shipping several Kiss ukiyoes prints.

It also looks like there’s another Iron Maiden ukiyoe print being developed as well. We don’t have any details yet, but you can believe we’ll share them with you when we do!

Sources: Ukiyoe Project

Rocketnews 24 edited by Japanwebshopping.

JWS

 

Men’s fashion with a Meiji era twist.

When you say “Meiji”, most folks immediately think of Japan’s number one confectionery maker Meiji from Japan’s best selling Meiji Chocolate.

Milk Chocolate

 

When you ask a Japanese person though (well one younger than 20..) they’ll tell you that Meiji is an era in Japanese history which ran from 1868 till  1912, which was the time that emperor Meiji (real name:Mutsuhito), took over from the Shogun(Tokugawa) and announced the beginning of a new era. The name Meiji means “Enlightened Rule”…now that’s a election slogan!

But being much more than just a political slogan,  Meiji  really brought some immediate changes to the Japanese, first of all  the  city of Kyoto lost its title of capital city , which went to Tokyo, hissy fit throwing Geisha were common sight on the Kyoto streets.

geisha’s anger by candy-quackenbush

Modernization finally reached Japan when they started to put keen interest into foreign industry, medicine, trade, army, science  and engineering leading to Japan becoming Asia’s first industrialized  country. Cool beans yeah, but what made the common “always thinking about food” Japanese most happy was the arrival of curry introduced by the British (thank god they didn’t introduce Black pudding). The Japanese loved it so much that they named it one of their national dishes… We at JWS love curry, we love it so much that we dedicated a page on our website to it check.

Fashion house IKIJI has used the Meiji era as their inspiration for their Fall line, an interesting concept as the Meiji era is often seen as the time that traditional Japan transitioned  to modern Japan with its western look. This becomes very obvious when you see their line-up and the way they portrait their models. The round glasses and hair do’s are reminiscent to the Meiji era.

 

 

 

We are also very impressed by their summer line-up:

Their quality and eye to detail is astonishing , really don’t take our word for it, check out this T-shirt with a longer front or as they call it an Apron-shirt with a modern written version of the Kanji “Nanten”or Southern Sky.

You can find their clothes here and pictures of their collections here

Fashion is all about combining, IKIJI’s clothes combine with almost everything due to their simplicity and introvert uniqueness…My favorite Autumn look has been decided, I wear the shirt above, with a black jacket, Lee HI-STANDARD SKINNY and my newly recent acquired Rick Owens/ Adidas spring blade high.

40,000 yen at Mercari online shopping

Or when I want to go casual, with these Adidas ignites…you can see a pattern here right….well these Springblades are soooo comfy that’s why.

$85,- on ebay

I love Autumn because you’re not restricted by the weather what you want to wear, let us know about your favorite Autumn outfit!

Serge Roso  jws

Japanwebshopping.com