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
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
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.
*Japanese for "Thank you very much!"
And have a fabulous week y'all!