August 2022




[History of Cats]

The cat is an animal that is very familiar to us. It is said that their ancestors were small tree-dwelling animals called miacis. In the course of their subsequent evolution, those that remained in the forest and hunted alone evolved into cats, and those that moved to grasslands and lived in groups evolved into dogs.

The origin of their relationship with humans was when they were bred for the purpose of exterminating rodents when humans began farming. For this reason, in Europe and China, they are considered to be spirits of the ear of rice, and the Chinese character for cat is written "苗" in the beast version, which also indicates this.

At a site dated around 8000 B.C., a cat was buried very close to a human, making this the oldest known trace of human-cat relations. By around 3000 B.C., cats had established themselves as partners of humans, and in ancient Egypt they were the subject of wall paintings and sculptures, and were mummified and buried with great care. From Egypt, cat keeping spread to Europe and Asia, where they protected grain and books and played an important role during the plague epidemic.

Cats were also found in ancient Japan, but it was not until the Nara period (710-794) that they became fully involved with humans. With the arrival of Buddhism from China, cats were brought to Japan to protect scriptures and other items. Since cats were rare creatures, they were kept only by people of high rank.

Emperor Uda is said to have kept a black cat given to him by his father, and Emperor Ichijo was such a cat lover that he named his cat "Myobu no Otodo" and gave it a rank. Later, in the Edo period (1603-1867), cats remained rare and precious, but they were depicted in ukiyoe woodblock prints and Japanese paintings, indicating that people were familiar with cats.

The relationship with cats spans thousands of years and shows that they have been closely connected to human life. Cats are creatures that have captured the hearts of people both now and in the past.

Otera Kohachiro Shoten's Animal Series "Cat & Mouse"






[Notice of Price Revision]

Due to soaring raw material costs, some products will be raised on 2022/9/1. If you are considering it, please order by then.

Nakamura Douki's All Products
Watanabe Mokkogei's Chabon
Sori Yanagi's Stainless Steel Bowl and Whisk
m+'s All Products

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[Bamboo in Japan]

Bamboo is widely distributed throughout Japan, and tools made of bamboo have been used since the Jomon period. Bamboo is used not only for daily necessities such as baskets and colanders, but also for eating bamboo shoots, hunting tools such as fishing rods and spears, tea ceremony and flower arrangement tools, musical instruments such as flutes and shakuhachi, martial arts equipment such as bamboo swords and bows, children's toys, and also as housing materials. It is also used as a New Year's decoration as a plant for congratulation, since it is evergreen and grows straight and strong, giving a sense of vitality.

It is surprising that there are about 600 species in Japan and 1,200 species in the world. It grows very fast, with some records showing that it has grown more than 1 meter in one day. The life span is about 20 years. The trunk of the bamboo culm is hollow, and although it grows vertically, it does not grow thicker with age like a tree. The underground stem is also vigorous and grows rapidly horizontally, and a new bamboo shoot grows out of the underground stem. Bamboo is a truly mysterious being when you think about it, as it is both like a tree and like a grass, and has an ecology that is different from either of them.

When processing bamboo, craftsmen use bamboo that is five to seven years old when it begins to grow. Bamboo is cut down in the fall and winter, when the moisture content inside the bamboo is at its lowest. The bamboo is then allowed to dry naturally for several months and then heated to remove the moisture and oil from the bamboo. The bamboo is then exposed to the sun for several weeks and stored for at least one year while drying. Depending on the application, it may be dried for another 2 to 5 years.

Recently, plastic products have become popular as a substitute for bamboo products, and the production of bamboo material and bamboo shoots have decreased, resulting in an increase in the number of poorly managed bamboo forests in Japan. If properly managed, bamboo forests can become a tasty food source, a beautiful landscape, and a great resource with great utilization value. In recent years, bamboo has been attracting attention as an environmentally friendly natural material because it is one of the most sustainable resources on the planet, is highly durable, and is suitable for reuse. It would be great if we could incorporate bamboo products into our daily lives and practice a lifestyle that is connected to a recycling society, while feeling the cycle of nature. We also offer products made of Japanese bamboo. Please take a look.

Kagoshima Takeseihin's Onioroshi
Yamaichi's Taketaga Ohitsu
Kiya's Sushimaki
Kiya's Bamboo Tea Strainer
Kiya's Yakumiyose