Design: rikumo - JAPAN MADE


Throughout the eight years of publishing this blog, I've shared several posts on my admiration, attraction and affection for Japan. I spent three months there in the late 90's while performing in a theater production. I lived and worked in Kobe, however, I visited Osaka and Kyoto.

To say that I liked Japan is an understatement. Japan was a place in which I felt an immediate kinship and connection, so it was more like a "coming home" rather than feeling I was in a foreign country. It would take me forever to give you all the reasons why I loved Japan, so I'll share one of the main reasons: Quality.


Everything from the way the Japanese create and build things, to their outstanding customer service, it's all about quality and care. I have never been to a place where the entire culture is unanimously on the same page when it comes to providing quality products and service. And if you ever have the opportunity to visit Japan, you'll experience exactly what I mean.

Therefore, I was extremely excited last week when I walked past a new store not far from where I live, and noticed that it was Japanese. And the second I opened the door and entered the showroom, I felt as if I was literally back in Asia - from the oriental music; the serving of tea; the peaceful and calm energy vibes; and just the way everything was so simply and beautifully displayed - was so Japanese.

And not only is this a retail store, it also offers an in-store library, a garden, tea bar, workshops and lectures, and Japan-made events; making it a unique concept store. 

Rikumo is a lifestyle brand that celebrates Japanese craftsmanship, design, and aesthetics. Based in Philadelphia, we connect Japanese artisans and craftsmen with an international public that values quality, craftsmanship, and simplicity in design. Through our products we showcase a culture that is unique to Japan but also powers the modern, interconnected world. Throughout the year, founders Kaz and Yuka Morihata travel to Japan to find local craftsmen and artisan collectives that exemplify traditional and contemporary Japanese aesthetics.  

The following day I went back to the store and asked one of the employees if I had permission to take some photographs and post them on my blog. She was so sweet and said, "Sure, feel free to take pictures." I also met one of the founders of the store, Kaz, who was extremely gracious and made me feel very much at home. He and I talked a lot about Japan. I kept going on and on about how much I enjoyed my time there and how much I admired and respected the Japanese.

So please allow me to give you a pictorial tour through my favorite new store in Philadelphia, rikumo - JAPAN MADE.


rikumo business brochure


Interior showroom


Open Weave Room Shoes


Chidoriya Tsuge Comb and Brush
(handcrafted from a boxwood tree)



Binchotan Charcoal Cleansing Mask and Facial Soap


Kobe Honey Soap


Towels and Sasawashi Room Shoes



Binchotan Charcoal


Copper and Ceramic Mugs


Hasami Porcelain Tableware


Tainetsu Ceramic Cookware


Tarala Ceramic Ellipse Plates


Azmaya Cheese Boards and Butter Case


5 Elements Soy Candles



Azmaya Tetsubin Cast Iron Tea Kettle, Ippodo Tea Bags, and a bird ornament


Cast Iron Trays and Pens

Thank you for taking this tour everyone.

Domo arigatou!

*Japanese for "Thank you very much!"



And have a fabulous week y'all!
X

32 comments

  1. Oh my goodness!!! I feel like I just took a trip to the Orient! I LOVE Japanese things!! Many of my house decorations are Japanese! LOVE this store and it really makes me want to go to Philadelphia!! There are so many reasons I'd love to visit...all of them based on things you have written about! Thank you so much for sharing your city with me. Have a great Monday Ron!

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  2. Ron, I didn't know that you had spent time in Japan. I bet it was amazing! I have always wanted to visit there because when I was still living in New York, our family lived next door to a Japanese family and they were such lovely people. I like the Japanese style as well, simple, clean and minimal. What a great looking store! Perhaps this weekend my husband and I will have time to come into Center City and check it out.


    Wonderful pictures, Ron! The look like they came out of a magazine. So professional.


    Have a great Monday and stay warm. Can you believe the snow we got?

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  3. What a delightful post, Ron! I've long been a fan of Japanese things, appreciating their attention to detail and quality control. I played tennis with some guys from Japan many years ago, and I was blown away by how FAST they learned the game!

    Those five element candles are stunning! Balance is an important goal for all of us. And that tableware and cookware look so inviting -- who wouldn't want to sit down for a non-hurried meal using them? There must be something so relaxing and healthy about that kind of lifestyle -- much better for the body than grabbing fast food, ha!

    Thank you for introducing us to this interesting new store, and have a wonderful week!

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  4. Rob LenihanJanuary 25, 2016

    Wow, Ron, that place looks incredible. And you took such great pictures! I really appreciate your insights about Japan. Many years ago I tried to get a job over there tutoring English, but it didn't work out. Maybe I should try again! Great post, buddy!. Ki o tsukete!

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  5. Oh Ron, what a beautiful store! I love how neat and organized everything it displayed. And I want those copper mugs, they're gorgeous! I also interested in the charcoal skincare products. Have you tried them yet? I bet the owners of the store were very happy when they saw your beautiful photographs and how appealing every thing looks. Did they read it yet?


    Wonderful post, Ron. As always x

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  6. Ron, I don't know if you knew this but my girlfriend of three years is half Japanese. And you're right, their culture is tops when it comes to customer service and quality. My girlfriend is so peticular about her computer graphic work and web design. She is such a perfectionist. I've never visited Japan but would like to. I'm hoping that one day my girlfriend and I can go there together.

    Great photographs! I like them all but the one of the bird cage is so cool. I love how the photo is black and white yet, the bird is in color. You can really see the craftsmanship in the making of that butter case.

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  7. Oh wow! This looks like an amazing place. Beauty all around! I can see why you love it. What a wonderful way to connect two cultures together.

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  8. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJanuary 25, 2016

    How gorgeous. Everything the Japanese do is so aesthetically pleasing!

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  9. How fascinating, Ron! I do not know much about Japanese products, besides loving their vehicles! LOL! But I get in trouble for saying that!!

    What a cool store and your second photo of the merchandise displayed is so unique. It looks like their items are one of a kind. How fun that you stumbled upon the place. And I'm glad you posted today because I was wondering if you survived the blizzard! XO

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  10. Hello there Jeanne!

    " I LOVE Japanese things!! Many of my house decorations are Japanese!"

    WOW...I had no idea you loved Japanese things as much as I do. Isn't there something so peaceful and calming about Japanese decor? And not just that, but I love how streamline and simple Japanese design is.

    You would LOVE Japan, I know you would. If you ever have the chance to visit the country, do, because you'll come back transformed. It's a very special country.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great Monday and week!
    X to you and the girlz

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  11. Hey there Elaine!

    Yes, back in the 90's (1996) I spent three months there and feel in love with the country. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I didn't want to come back to the U.S. Japan literally felt like home to me. I had a very intense thing happen to me while I was there, that literally transformed me. I wrote about it on my blog several years ago. And you're right, the Japanese are such lovely people.

    The store is open Saturday and Sunday, so if you and your hubby decide to come into CC, I think you'll really enjoy the store.

    Thank you, I had so much fun taking these picture and putting this post together. It gave me a lot of joy.

    Have a super week, neighbor!
    X

    P.S. The snow was faaaaaabulous! And I couldn't believe how much we got. Of course, it's all melting right now. The city looks like one big SLURPEE!

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  12. Hola Denise!

    Aren't those copper mugs faaaaaaabulous? There was SO MANY things in this store that I loved and wanted. The charcoal skincare products interested me too. Charcoal is very good for cleaning the skin. They even sold charcoal water and air filters.

    I sent the owner an email the morning to let him know that I posted this, but I haven't heard back from him yet. I had so much fun putting this post together. It was joy!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a fantastic week!
    X

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  13. Yes, I agree, Fiona! Everything the Japanese do is soooooo aesthetically pleasing.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week!
    X

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  14. Hi there Lisa!

    "What a wonderful way to connect two cultures together."

    I agree! And it's so ironic you said that because one of the owners (Kaz) told me that his main reasons for opening this store was to bring our cultures together.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend Have a terrific week!
    X

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  15. OMG...no Matt, I had no idea your girlfriend was half Japanese. How fabulous is that! It's no wonder she's such a perfectionist, because the Japanese are. And they are also very gracious, kind and respectful.

    I didn't realize how much I would love Japan before I went, but I literally fell in love with the place. If you go, I have a feeling you will too. Please be sure to visit Kyoto if you visit because it's amazing. It's where all the temples are located. Kyoto has such a beautiful energy.

    "You can really see the craftsmanship in the making of that butter case."

    Yes, you can, can't you? And the wood was so smooth to the touch. It was flawless!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  16. Hey there Rob!

    OMG, yes...I really think if you visited Japan you would feel very much like I did. It's a very special country with beautiful energy. And Reiki was first discovered there - in Kyoto!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a faaaaaaaabulous week!

    X

    P.S. Ki o tsukete! I had to look that up to see what it meant. You too, buddy!

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  17. " I do not know much about Japanese products, besides loving their vehicles! LOL! But I get in trouble for saying that!!"

    HAHAHAHAHA! OMG...but it's so true! They make the BEST vehicles - dependable and reliable. I actually owned two Toyota's. And speaking of vehicles, I was amazed at how stunning their taxi cab system is over there because all their taxi's are meticulously clean and well-kept. They all looked as though they were brand new!

    Yes, many of their products ARE one of kind. I took a TON of photographs but couldn't include all of them.

    The blizzard was VERY intense. It started on Friday night at about 6:30 (as I was walking home from work) and didn't stop until late Saturday night. And OMG...the wind was so strong. I actually went outside and took some photographs and was almost blown off the street - HA!

    Have a super week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  18. Helloooooo there Debbie!

    Yes, isn't their attention to detail AMAZING? I picked up several of the items shown in these pictures and touched them because I wanted to "feel" the detail. The wooden butter case was so smooth. The craftsmanship was incredible!

    " I played tennis with some guys from Japan many years ago, and I was blown away by how FAST they learned the game!"

    And I'm not at all surprised to hear that because they are very intelligent and quick-to-learn people.

    I too was very attracted to the five element candles. In fact, I may have to go back and purchase one.

    "And that tableware and cookware look so inviting -- who wouldn't want to sit down for a non-hurried meal using them? There must be something so relaxing and healthy about that kind of lifestyle -- much better for the body than grabbing fast food, ha!"

    AMEN!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super fabulous week!
    X

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  19. "The city looks like one big SLURPEE!" Haha... that's exactly what it looks like, Ron! All that snow melting so fast. Oh well, it was pretty while it lasted! What you said about Japan made me want to visit there more. It sounded like a very special experience for you.

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  20. Yes, it was soooo pretty while it lasted. I'm sitting in Starbucks right now and looking out the window at all the SLUSH!

    "It sounded like a very special experience for you."

    Oh it was. It so was!

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  21. A very classy presentation, Ron, thanks.

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  22. Thank you, Dale :) I fell in love with this store, so it gave me a lot of joy to put this post together.

    Have a super week, buddy. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  23. Geraldine H.January 26, 2016

    How cool is that store? And how cool that you actually lived in Japan! Wow, you have been around Ron, haven't you?

    I must admit, I don't have any real interest in visiting that part of the world but I DO admire the Japanese for a number of reasons. And yes, quality and pride in how things are done is a wonderful thing. Often forgotten these days it seems though.

    LOVE those copper mugs and the house shoes.

    Looks like a place that could keep you browsing for a long time. Were the prices very high for most things?

    Thanks for sharing this interesting store!

    Have a great week, G :-)

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  24. I agree with Dale, very classy presentation Ron! You can really tell that you put a lot of time, thought and effort into this post. Your pictures are fabuloso!

    I would love to visit the Orient one day. And I bet it's a completely different feeling when you're there, so different from the US.

    What a beautiful store! Thank you for sharing, Ron!

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  25. Hi Geraldine!

    It's funny because, like you, really didn't have any interest whatsoever to visit Japan. However, an acting job was offered to me (without even having to audition for the role), and I decide to take it. Once I got to Japan, I absolutely feel in love with it. There was something about the 'energy' there that really affected me. I can honestly say that I went through a transformation and came back to the States altered.

    "quality and pride in how things are done is a wonderful thing. Often forgotten these days it seems though."

    Yes, exactly. And that's one of the reasons why I respect the Japanese so much, they have not lost that quality and pride (and service) that is often lacking in this country. Sad, but true.

    "LOVE those copper mugs and the house shoes." Aren't they faaaaaaaabulous?

    Yup, the prices were high for many of the items sold there. But as I shared, they were quality, handcrafted products; imported from Japan.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great week as well!
    X

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  26. Hey ho Robert! Thank you, buddy :)

    And yes, I had SO MUCH fun putting this post together and felt very proud to share such a beautiful store.

    "I would love to visit the Orient one day. And I bet it's a completely different feeling when you're there, so different from the US."

    You are so right, Japan was SUCH a completely different feel from the US. The culture is so different than ours, and in a GOOD way. I learned a lot about many things while living there. Even to this day, I still feel the effects of having lived there.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have FABULOSO week!

    X

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  27. Ron, what a fantastic post! I've never been to Japan but would love to go. I hear the same things you say about Japan and its people.
    Japan was a place in which I felt an immediate kinship and connection, so it was more like a "coming home" rather than feeling I was in a foreign country.
    I want to go to Italy and I have a feeling I'll say the same about Italy as you said/felt about Japan! Perhaps you were Japanese in a former life.
    What a fantastic store. Everything all in one place. And it looks so inviting and relaxing! I could probably browse all day long. Or lounge around in Sasawashi Room Shoes sipping some tea!
    I wish we had something like that around me! I would be there all the time!
    You photos are wonderful. I really enjoyed them!
    Thanks for such an interesting post!
    Have a good rest of the week!
    ((YOU))

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  28. Hellooooooo there Pam!

    "I've never been to Japan but would love to go. I hear the same things you say about Japan and its people."

    Yes, and I really think you would love it there. What's really amazing is how the Japanese live in such a relatively small country. Everything is very compact, neat and organized. And think that's why their sense of style and design is very minimal.

    "I want to go to Italy and I have a feeling I'll say the same about Italy as you said/felt about Japan! Perhaps you were Japanese in a former life."

    Funny you mentioned that because I wrote a blog post many, many years ago on that very topic. You can read about it here: http://www.triloquist.net/2008/07/reincarnationliving-before.html

    rikumo is such a unique store because not only is it a retail store, but it also contains a really cool library that you can sit in and read about Japanese topics - art, history and culture!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week!
    X

    (((((( You ))))))

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  29. Ron, I shared this post with my girlfriend and she really enjoyed it. She loves those open weave room shoes!

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  30. Thanks so much for stopping back to let me know, Matt :) I love those shoes as well. They look so comfortable!

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  31. benzekneesMarch 08, 2016

    What an interesting tour Ron! I can see why you would be attracted to this store!

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  32. I LOVE all things Japanese, which is why I loved this store!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, Benze!

    X

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