August 2020

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The history of wallets in Japan is closely related to the history of money.

Domestic coins that were used during the Muromachi period had holes in the middle and people carried them around by bundling them with a string. Many people kept this style until the Edo period, but as public security was improved and numbers of stores increased, coins had to be taken out frequently, and the traditional, inconvenient style was reconsidered, which led to the introduction of "kinchaku (drawstring pouch)."

In the mid-Edo period, when the shogunate system was established, each clan issued a currency called "hansatsu (clan note)" to be circulated within its territory, and a so-called "paper case" made of cloth that can store these notes appeared. It gradually diversified in design, as stylish clasps decorated these cases.

At the beginning of the Meiji period, when Japan began to receive influences from the Western culture, the design of the wallet has changed as well, as the "gamaguchi" was introduced. Though it is widely known to be traditional Japanese wallets, it was actually inspired by the metal fittings used in bags that were carried by women from Europe.

In recent years, due to the widespread use of credit cards and the diversification of clothing, the wallet has evolved to suit individual tastes and uses. Siwa's wallets well spot this trend, which is simple in design, diverse in colors and size, and compact and convenient. It also incorporates the Japanese traditional paper "washi," fully conveying the Japanese culture. We recommend the modern yet traditional Japanese wallet by all means.

SIWA's Wallet
https://www.shokunin.com/en/siwa/saifu.html



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The Tenjin Festival is one of Japan's most celebrated festivals that has a tradition of over 1,000 years. It is held at Tenmangu (Tenjinsha) in various places in Japan. It is widely known as one of the three biggest festivals in Japan (other than the Gion Festival in Kyoto and Kanda Festival in Tokyo). It is also one of the three major summer festivals in Osaka, along with the Ikutama Summer Festival at Ikutama Shrine and the Sumiyoshi Festival at Sumiyoshi Taisha.

The event is held every year from late June to July 25 for about one month. On the night of the last day, Funatogyo, where many boats cross the Okawa River (former Yodogawa River), is held and votive fireworks go up. It is also called a festival of fire and water because of the splendid appearance of bonfires, lanterns, and fireworks reflected in the Okawa River.

Although the Funadogyo has been canceled due to the influence of COVID-19 this year, the main events of the festival were held as usual with the hope of dispelling the plague. We recommend you have a look at the video of the Yoimiya festival which was held on July 24th and enjoy the historical and beautiful event.

The video of the Yoimiya festival
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0TYdkTptnY



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[Watanabe Mokkogei's Chabon]

In the southern part of Toyama Plain, Fukumitsu, Watanabe Mokkogei has been making beautiful fork crafts called Shogawa Hikimono Kiji since 1950.

A carefully selected unpainted wood which is not painted lacquer or oil, is finished by only manual polishing.

Please enjoy the texture of natural materials in your everyday life.
https://www.shokunin.com/en/watanabe/chabon.html