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The Beauty in Imperfection

We travel all over Japan to find people we like who make things that we like. And we like things which are made to be used in normal, everyday life, but which are at the same time, beautiful, tactile and special. Things which should be used, which are a pleasure to use, and which will develop their own character as you use them. There is nothing worse than buying things which won’t be used.

Sometimes we can get things off the shelf, but most of the time we suggest some small changes to make things more practical, more suitable to a Western lifestyle. But we are not designers, curators or experts, many people know much more than we do. All we do is give our partners in Japan a bridge to a different culture, where we think they will be appreciated.

What we enjoy most is meeting different people and we want you to be able to see and feel the people behind our products. Tradition, craft, art, technique - whatever you want to call it, only survives through people. For everything you see on our site, we know who made it and where, we have drunk their tea, sometimes their sake too. What they make and how they make it is important, but it is their philosophy, personality and character that make this job fun. 

Because most things are made by hand, and because of the natural variation in the materials, techniques and processes, every product is different - glazes react differently in different parts of the kiln, the grain in one cherry birch is different from another, the finger marks of the maker will never be identical from one vase to another.

This is all part of fukanzen no bi, the “beauty of imperfection”. Everything is imperfect and that natural variety and irregularity combined with the maker’s character and humanity makes our world more fun. Have a look at our blog for more of the story.