NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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キセル Kiseru Kiseru

Jp En

Kiseru is an old style Japanese smoking pipe. Kiseru were used for smoking flake tobacco, but some use for smoking a cigarettee or others for a half-cut cigarettee recently. The word kiseru comes from the Khmer word “ksher.”

Kiseru were invented in Japan in the 16th century, when the Portuguese came to Japan for the Nanban trade after the arrival of guns. The origin of kiseru making is not clear but it is said that Japanese craftsmen began to make kiseru by modeling after smoking pipes the Portuguese were using.

In the Edo period (1603-1868), when flake tobacco were extremely popular, kiseru were indispensable items for tobacco smokers. The kiseru was a kind of a status symbol and a fancy accessory. There were many kiseru in different sizes, length and shapes and of different materials. Tobacco smokers had their own favorite kiseru according to their finaccial positions. However, since extravagance was prohibited by the Tokugawa shogunate, only warriors, wealthy merchants, and prostitutes were allowed to use kiseru until the end of the Edo period.
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根付 Netuke Netsuke

Jp En

Since the traditional Japanese clothes (kimono) had no pockets, men suspended their personal belongings such as wallets, seals, or tobacco cases on a cord from their obi (sashes for kimono). Netsuke is a small toggle to stop things from slipping through the obi. In the early Edo period, Netsuke was made of wood, but later in the middle of Edo period, when it became very popular, a wide variety of Netsuke began to be made using various other materials such as ivory or metals. There were also a wide variety of styles and designs including Katabori netsuke or figural netsuke carved in the shapes of people or animals, Manju netsuke, which is a round type of netsuke shaped like a manju with carvings done in relief, or Kagamibuta netsuke with a metal disc serving as lid to a shallow bowl. In the Meiji period natsuke was favored as the article of export. Now there are a lot of netsuke collecters all over the world and many of the best collections are displayed at overseas museums. Netsuke is an internationally acclaimed handicraft of Japan.
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堺刃物 Sakaihamono Sakai Forged Blades

Jp En

Sakai forged blades has the share of 90% in the market for cooking knives used by professional cooks. The No.1 standard of sharpness and traditional forging technique has increased their reputation. The history dates back the 16th century, when guns and tobacco were introduced into Japan from Portugal. In the late 16th century, Sakai’s “tobacco knives” to shred tobacco were known nationwide. The Tokugawa Shogunate granted Sakai a certificate seal called “Gokuin” to guarantee their quality and also the exclusive selling right, by which the reputation of Sakai forged blades spread all over the country. These knives are characterized by their distinctive sharpness that is only possible through the excellent smithing and grinding skills. The sharp blade edge produced by well trained skills represents the master’s pride.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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