Ice is a common commodity regardless of the season, but in the days when ice-making technology did not exist, ice was extremely valuable.

In ancient times, people built huts in cool caves or underground to store natural ice in order to make use of it during the winter. In Japan, this was called "himuro," and the first day of the sixth lunar month was celebrated as "Himuro no Sekku." On that day, ice cut from the icehouse was offered to the shoguns, and ice was a luxury item, especially in summer. Instead of ice, the common people would eat sweets that resembled ice, such as himuro-manju or minazuki, to get rid of the heat.

It was not until the Meiji period (1868-1912) that the common people in Japan were able to obtain ice throughout the year. The world's first business selling natural ice was established in Boston, U.S.A., and the ice, called "Boston ice," was exported all over the world. In Japan, Boston ice was also imported due to demand from foreign doctors treating burns and other conditions. However, they were very expensive, so attempts were made to produce natural ice domestically.

The first to begin domestic production was Kahei Nakagawa, who established the Yokohama Ice Company (now Nichirei). He built ice houses in various locations, including at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Lake Suwa, Nikko, Kamaishi, and Aomori, and attempted to transport the ice to the port of Yokohama, but all failed, with most of the ice melting during transport. Later, they traveled to Hokkaido, and Hakodate finally succeeded in collecting and transporting ice thanks to the water quality of Goryokaku and the convenience of the port. The ice was called "Hakodate ice" and became widely available due to its lower cost and superior quality compared to Boston ice.

Ice has now become indispensable. The Kurikyu's Magewappa Ice Pail can be used without wetting the table because the ice does not melt easily and does not condense easily due to the insulating properties of the cedar wood. The time spent drinking your favorite alcohol or beverage with cold ice will become even more special.

Kurikyu's Magewappa Ice Pail
Otera Kohachiro Shoten's Kanamari M