Just as the sound of a wind bell draws in the coolness, when we see a hand-woven basket made of natural materials, we feel a sense of freshness, as if a breeze is somehow passing through. "Ikago" is made of rush grass, the same material as tatami mats. Its cool texture and its soft, natural curves created by human hands have an unpretentious beauty.
Sunami Toru Shoten has been manufacturing mats as a family business in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, the original production area of rush grass, and the figured mat's birthplace. Today, the history of this industry has been continued by switching to the production of baskets made of rush grass, called "yami-kago," which were used for shopping in the black market after the war.
Each basket is handmade by Mr. Ryuki Sunami, the fifth generation of the family, who is the only one in Japan who makes baskets by hand, using a loom inherited from his grandmother, weaving the ropes of bamboo grass like a piece of cloth, manually shaping it into a basket, and attaching a handle.
You can wear it with your everyday clothes or yukata in the coming season or use it as a small shopping basket since the bottom is made a little wider. You can also change the look and feel of the bag with your favorite patterned pouch or azuma bukuro.
The initial faint light green color of Ikago gradually changes over time to a shallow brown. The more time you spend with it, the more it will become familiar in your hands, and the more memories it will hold for you in the future.
Sunami Toru Shoten's Ikago
Marukawa Shoten's Azuma Bukuro