In this box, you will find a selection of Japanese traditional items, beautifully crafted. Included in the box:
Ox ceramic statuette from Aichi Prefecture. The ox is numbered second among the twelve signs of the zodiac. When Buddha organized a race to choose the twelve animals, the ox, knowing that it was slow to walk, decided to start into the darkness of the previous night. The rat, clever, climbed onto the ox’s back and jumped in front of it as it crossed the finish line, becoming the first animal in the zodiac. As a result, the ox came in second.
Asakusa Uchiwa Fan
The Japanese traditional fan called uchiwa comes from a shop called Takahisa that specializes in selling Hagoita: wooden paddles decorated with various traditional images and used for decoration. The manager, Mister Masanori Tsuchiya, aims to pass down the spirit and traditions of the Edo period. The Uchiwa is the best tool for kimono clad ladies who come to enjoy the famous Sumida river fireworks during summer. You can see the letters for Asakusa: 浅草.
Cloth bag with Masks design
In Nakamise street in Asakusa, Tokyo, we found a good fortune cloth bag. You can use it to store your pens or as a beauty case. There are different japanese masks represented on it. For example, the Otafuku, a mask representing a smiling woman, which can literally be translated as “a lot of good fortune”. Or the Hyottoko, a comical character with his mouth skewed to one side, which also brings good luck into one’s house.
This Notepad comes from Uragu. Uragu is a tiny shop, hidden in the back streets of Miyagawacho, one of Kyoto’s geisha districts. There, you can find beautiful stationery with clean designs carefully thought out by the designer of the store.
Carp fish is one of the main Japanese symbols of luck and good fortune. In Japanese, carp is called koi. Koi also means “love”. As a result, carp fish is seen as a romantic symbol. But not only. Being a fish that swims against the river flow, it also represents tenacity, perseverance in adversity, and the ability to achieve one’s goal.
On this fabric is a large number of lucky symbols. First, in the foreground is the Shishi, the lion-dog, a legendary animal with the ability to scare away evil spirits.
In the background you can see a pine tree, a symbol of longevity, vigor and courage. In front of the house is a kadomatsu, made with pine branches and bamboo. Indeed, bamboos are also a symbol of longevity and strength. Kadomatsu are found in front of houses during the New Year to welcome the spirit of the ancestors that will bring happiness to the family.
Washi Card with calligraphy
This beautiful item was created only for Peko Peko. It is the result of a collaboration of two friends. The first one, Kayo, is a master of calligraphy. She offers calligraphy workshops in English for foreign visitors. Kayo chose this character, yume, in the hope that all Peko Peko’s clients will have their dream come true. Her dream is that visitors will soon come back to Japan so that she can continue teaching calligraphy, her passion. One by one, Kayo wrote the character on washi paper postcards. These were also handcrafted, by Miwako, from the Kami to Wa shop, located just across from Kayo’s restaurant.
Kami to Wa is a boutique specializing in washi paper. The shop is filled with gorgeous items, all made using japanese paper: notebook, notepad, bags, lamps… Miwako also organizes a really fun japanese experience. She offers to visitors the possibility to make their own washi postcard. It was after remembering how popular this activity was among foreigners that she suggested that we create these washi cards for our Peko Peko Box.
In the olden days, genmaicha (or brown rice tea) was a drink for those who couldn’t afford pure tea blends. Genmaicha was also drunk by fasting monks or rationed warriors, as the mix between green tea and roasted rice made it a more filling drink. Nowadays, genmaicha has become one of the most popular teas in Japan.
Uji area (south of Kyoto) produces some of the finest tea blends of Japan. There, we travelled to the small village of Wazuka-cho with over 800 years of history producing teas. We found the perfect genmaicha tea at Obubu tea farm, where Matsumoto-san and his French wife Marie-san welcomed us. Obubu tea farm aims to bring quality Japanese tea to the world, contribute to the local and global community through tea, revitalize interest in tea and agriculture through education.