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[New Item] Kiya's Set of 12 Seasonal Cutting Dies has been added.

A beautiful, strong, and long-lasting set of cutting dies made by skilled craftsmen. A paulownia box contains molds representing each of the 12 months of the year to match the dishes of the four seasons.

How about using it not only for osechi and ozoni, but also for making your daily lunch?

Pine tree for January, daffodil for February, plum for March, cherry blossom for April, green leave for May, bellflower for June, bamboo for July, gourd for August, chrysanthemum for September, ginkgo for October, autumn leave for November, and folding fan for December.

Kiya's Set of 12 Seasonal Cutting Dies



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Chuka-manju, also known as chukaman, is a popular dish in Japan, which refers to a steamed bun containing various ingredients that are wrapped in a soft skin made by kneading and fermenting flour, water, sugar, yeast, and baking powder. There exist many types of chuka-man according to the ingredients it contains, most popularly nikuman and anman.

During the Northern Song Dynasty (10-12th century), buns with filling were called "baozi" in China, and became a popular food among the common people. This was introduced to Japan in the mid-13th century, during which a monk who had completed his training in China returned to Japan and passed on the recipe for fermenting flour with amazake to a teahouse owner in Hakata.

However, the original buns in China used meat, which was not allowed in Japanese Buddhism that forbade killing animals. Therefore, it was invented to fill them with boiled red beans instead of meat. For the next 500 years or so, the word "manju" in Japan referred to confectionery, but the situation changed after the Meiji Restoration in the mid-19th century, when the ban on eating meat was lifted, and beef and pork began to appear on the tables of the general public.

Manju as sweets were made by confectioners, but "meat buns," with different ingredients, were made by chefs rather than confectioners. With regards to its name, "nikuman" was the first choice because of the use of meat as an ingredient, and the name became popular in eastern Japan, especially in Tokyo. However the name "pork bun (butaman)” became the mainstream in western Japan, especially in the Kinki region.

The hot and tasty manju with meat are delicious especially during the cold winter, and if you are considering to taste some, we recommend you take a look at some of the products available at Shokunin.com, including the Chinese Seiro by Yamaichi, which fits in Nakamura Douki’s Dantsuki Pot.

Yamaichi’s Chinese Seiro
Nakamura Douki’s Danstuki Pot




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Winters in Kyoto are famous for their severe cold, but there is rarely any snowfall. It's a rare sight to see snow, which makes it all the more exciting and joyful when you see it. Kifune Shrine is one of the few snow-covered landscapes, which has even been shown on postcards, posters, and billboards promoting Kyoto.

There is no written record about the founding of the Kibune Shrine, and the date of its establishment is unknown. However, there is a tradition that the shrine was rebuilt in the 6th year of Emperor Temmu's reign (about 1300 years ago), so it is thought that the shrine was founded very early in the history of Japan.

Kifune Shrine has long been revered as a deity that protects the water source of Kyoto, and many rituals have been held to pray for rain and to stop the rain. You may drink some pure and tasty mountain water at the shrine, which is known as the “goshinsui (sacred water)” and which has been praised since ancient times by the locals and people who work with water.

Located at the headwaters of the Kamo River, in the mountains of nature, it usually snows at the site more often than in downtown Kyoto, so there is a good chance that you will see the shrine covered in snow. The approach to the shrine, which used to be decorated with autumn leaves until autumn, is now covered with snow in winter, creating a vivid contrast with the vermilion-lacquered lanterns.

If you are interested in visiting the site, you may be interested in Ao’s Okurumi Stole made of fluffy and soft double-gauze, which feels warm in the winter, while its airy texture makes it cool in the summer. Once you have taken photos of the beautiful landscape, why not keep them in Syuro’s Kakukan and Marukan? Please have a look at Shokunin.com for more details!

Ao’s Okurumi Stole
Syuro’s Kakukan