March 2024





[Clothes Brush]

Recently, the number of days with a hint of spring has been increasing. This is the time of year when we can put away our winter clothes and change into spring clothes. How do you usually take care of your clothes? We usually iron our clothes, use a ball remover, or use an adhesive sheet cleaner, but do you use a "clothes brush"?

A clothes brush can help maintain the beautiful texture of your clothes and make them last longer. Clothes inevitably get dust, pollen, and rubbing when worn. If dust is left on the clothes, moisture can get into them, damaging the fabric and attracting insects. In addition, an adhesive sheet cleaner cannot remove dust that has penetrated deep into the fibers. Static electricity can cause the fibers to come together and form furballs. Since fluffballs are part of the garment, they will gradually become thinner and thinner as you continue to remove them.

Brushing with a clothes brush not only removes dust from the surface of the garment but also scrapes out the dust stuck deep within the fibers and conditions the fibers, bringing out the original luster of the fabric. It also has the advantage of loosening tangled fibers and preventing the formation of furballs. When you put away your favorite clothes for a change of clothes, a little brushing will help keep the fabric beautiful.

And during this time of year when we suffer from painful hay fever, it may be a good idea to quickly brush your clothes before entering the door or at the entrance to avoid bringing pollen that has clung outside into the house as much as possible. The string attached to the handle makes it convenient to hang it on a hook.

The natural bristles of the clothes brush contain the natural oils and moisture of the material, which prevents static electricity from occurring. How about cleaning your clothes with a clothes brush for a change of clothes to keep your beloved garments longer? The Ginza Showroom displays Clothes Brush made by Kanaya Brush of Asakusa, Tokyo, which has been manufacturing brushes for over 100 years. Please take a look at them when you visit our showroom.

Kanaya Brush's Clothes Brush
Ginza Showroom






Brass is a material often seen in general merchandise and interior goods. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and the familiar Japanese 5-yen coin is also made of brass.

Brass is mainly defined as having a zinc content of 20% or more. The balance of the copper/zinc ratio varies from object to object, with a high zinc content resulting in a golden color and hardness, and a low zinc content resulting in a reddish color and softness. Brass has a long history dating back to around 1,000 B.C., and because of its resistance to corrosion and ease of processing, it has been widely used in arts and crafts, architectural hardware, and as a material for Buddhist ritual utensils and musical instruments due to its clear tone. Instruments such as trumpets used in brass bands are also made of brass. Nousaku, which we carry in our store, also has several products made of brass.

Founded in 1916, Nouaku began by manufacturing Buddhist altarware, tea ceremony utensils, and flower vases, and now produces traditional yet innovative metal products, mainly tin, but also copper and brass. It was the "wind bell made of brass" that made Nousaku famous throughout Japan. Its lean and sophisticated form is characterized by the clear and extended tone that only brass can produce. The base is made using casting manufacturing techniques in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, and craftsmen finish it with a potter's wheel. We recently had a customer from the Netherlands who came to our Sanjo Showroom to see this product (it is not currently on display). There is also a unique product called "Kinton," which allows you to store 5-yen coins in a design sundry in the shape of a pig made of the same brass as the 5-yen coin, which is cute and makes a great gift.

Brass is an unexpectedly familiar material, but I have recently been reminded that the combination of this material, traditional Japanese casting techniques, and beautiful designs born from a uniquely Japanese sensibility may be the reason why so many products attract people not only from Japan but from overseas as well. One of the most attractive features of brass is that the more you use it, the more its surface oxidizes and develops a unique antique-like flavor, allowing you to enjoy its transformation over time. It is wonderful to be able to enjoy and nurture the changes in brass over a long period of time as you change. Please pay attention to the material of brass and enjoy your shopping.

Nousaku's Wind Bell
Nousaku's Kinton
Takaoka Copperware
Sanjo Showroom








[Sakura Mochi Leaves]

It is the season of cherry blossoms, and we will be receiving news of their blooming one after another from various places toward the end of March. This is the season when many cherry blossom-flavored sweets and beverages can be found. Among them, the eternal standard of spring sweets in Japan is probably "sakura mochi" (sakura rice cake). In haiku and other forms of poetry, sakura mochi, like sakura, is a seasonal word for spring.

The fragrant component of sakura mochi leaves and salted cherry blossoms is coumarin, an aroma that is classified as a polyphenol/phenolic acid type of antioxidant. Fresh cherry leaves have no aroma, but when the leaves and flowers are pickled in salt, an enzyme produces a component called coumarin, which gives them their distinctive aroma. Coumarin has antibacterial and anti-blood coagulation effects, and is effective in preventing swelling and aging.

Most of the salted cherry leaves used for sakura mochi come from Matsuzaki, Nishi-Izu, and are of the "Oshima cherry" variety. It is a larger leaf and has a very nice aroma. It prevents the rice cake from drying out and prevents the growth of bacteria by wrapping the rice cake in salted leaves.

The most famous sakura mochi in Tokyo is Chomeiji Sakura Mochi, which is mentioned in the rakugo story "Hanami Kozo." It was first sold in 1717, when cherry leaves from Sumida Tsutsumi were pickled in salt and the leaves were used to sandwich rice cakes filled with sweet bean paste. The year 1717 was also the year that Yoshimune Tokugawa, the 8th shogun of the Edo Shogunate, planted 100 cherry trees along the banks of the Sumida River, which, combined with the increase in the number of cherry blossom-viewing visitors, made sakura mochi a specialty of Chomeiji's gate.

This Chomeiji Sakura Mochi is wrapped in three salted leaves. It is recommended to "remove the leaves and enjoy the aroma of the cherry leaves and the flavor of the bean paste in the rice cake," but it is also said that the leaves can be removed, eaten with only one leaf attached, or eaten with all three leaves. The National Wagashi Association also recommends that the leaves be removed, saying, "You can taste the true flavor of cherry blossoms if you remove the leaves." There is a haiku by Kyoshi Takahama, a haiku poet and novelist active in the Showa period (1926-1989), which goes, "If you eat three leaves, you will have three pieces of cherry blossom cake." From this haiku, we can infer that Kyoshi ate sakura mochi with only one leaf, and that he was the type of person who does not eat the leaves of sakura mochi. Which way do you prefer?

There is another type of sakura mochi, Domyoji mochi made with Domyoji flour in Kansai style. It is different in shape and texture from the Kanto style Chomeiji mochi made with wheat flour. Both are made with pink dough, rolled with salted cherry leaves, and have a nice aroma of cherry blossoms.

Please enjoy the current cherry blossom season to the fullest. We would like to introduce some of the cherry blossom tree products we carry at

Fujiki Denshiro Shoten's Sokawa Tea Canister
Sonobe Sangyo’s Meibokuwan Cherry
Sonobe Sangyo’s Plate Cherry
Okubo House Mokkosha's Wooden Spatula *They will be restocked around April 1st.

References桜餅クマリン (江戸自慢三十六興 向嶋堤ノ花并ニさくら餅 - 国立国会図書館)