Japanese Arts & Crafts

Japanese Arts & Crafts

On Hanamikoji Street– a street full of the ancient aura of Kyoto, Kikuume sells Japanese handmade crafts carefully selected by the master.

Business Hours: 11:30 – 18:30
Closed on: Wednesday, Year End & New Year holidays

Craftsperson Profiles

Craftsperson Profiles

Mieko Fujimoto

Born in Kyoto, growing up with her mother who made kimonos for maiko (apprentice geisha) and geiko (geisha) working in Gion.
After graduating from a junior college, she majored in design and worked as a clothing designer in Gunze Industry Co., Ltd. successively, accumulating over 12 years of experience. After that, she worked as a lecturer in the dress tailoring class. She started her own business in 2010 and launched her personal brand Mieko Style. At the same time, she is active in the design field as a Japanese Zakka creative designer, using traditional Japanese kimonos and belts as creative materials.
Among her designed products, the Japanese-style shiny Zakka product with its unique sensational design is very popular. The launch of her new works always attracts a great many fans.
She also undertakes client businesses such as kimono modification and customization.

Hiroshi Tanaka

Born in Amino-cho, Kyoto Prefecture (Now Kyotango City).
In 1996, he opened a joint workshop in Art Kiyomizu in Kiyomizuyaki-Danchi .
In 2004, he built a kiln in Kiyomizuyaki-Danchi.

- Member of Kiyomizuyaki-Danchi Cooperative Youth Organization
- Director of climbing kiln firing at Kyoto Seika University
- Lecturer of NHK Culture Center

Kotobuki Toshun

Kotobuki Toshun is a well-known pottery in the Kiyomizuyaki-danchi,mainly firing Kiyomizu ware.
In addition to the production and selling of Kiyomizu ware, there are also activities such as Kiyomizu ware factory tours and pottery lessons.
Under the guidance of the instructor, you can add your own ingenuity to the biscuit (素燒)of Kiyomizu-yaki such as tea cups, mugs, matcha bowls, plates, in order to craft your own unique handmade work.

Shosa

The traditional handcraft has a history of more than a thousand years, and is a traditional industry in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture. Its craftsmanship has been used in the production of armors and horse harness since ancient times.

The leather works are made with unique Japanese craftsmanship, characterized by natural color and proper softness.

This is the most durable and beautiful leather in the world.

The leather products are made without any chemical agents, only salt and vegetable oil are used. They are carefully tanned with the clear river water of Himeji. Its extreme resilience, softness, and glossy color like human skin won it the praise of being “the world’s most beautiful leather”.

Out side of Japan the white tanned leather is also called "Japanese White Leather". Its natural craftsmanship has been a marvel and astonishment to German researchers.

Rokubey Kiyomizu VIII

As the first-born of the seventh-generation family head, he was born in Kyoto in 1954. Before assuming the name, he was known as Masahiro. After graduating from the Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Science and Engineering of Waseda University in 1979, he studied windlass and glaze-related techniques at the Kyoto Prefectural Pottery Higher Vocational Training School and the Kyoto City Industrial Experimental Center, and then formally entered the field of ceramics.

In 1983, he was awarded the Grand Prix at the ’83 Asashi Ceramic Exhibition.Since then, he won numerous awards in various publiclysponsored exhibitions(公募展) from the 1980s to the 1990s. He continuously improved his skills in ceramic design and performance, and continued to receive widespread attention.

His production method consists of cutting clay board precisely along with the drawing and combining the sliced parts. Slits added in the body manipulate strength or allow gravity to function, thereby deliberately creating distortion and slumps in the artistic form through the firing process.

In 2000, after assuming the hereditary name as the Rokubey Kiyomizu VIII , he started to produce innovative artistic ceramic works with distinct shapes and flavors.

In 2003, he was invited to become a professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design (renamed as Kyoto University of the Arts in 2020). While actively engaging in creative works, he also diligently worked at mentoring younger artists.

In 2005, he won the 2004 Japan Ceramic Association Award. Today he is one of the representative figures in contemporary Japanese ceramic art.

Jin

Persimmon tannin has been widely in use in everyday life since olden times. Its excellent water-repellent and bug-repellent qualities make it a favorite coating material for fishnet, brewer’s squeezing bag, dye pattern paper, paper umbrella, and many other daily items.

Persimmon tannin is made from immature green persimmons. They are collected, crushed, and compressed to get the liquid, which becomes a fermenting agent after maturing for over 3 years. The liquid initially looks yellowish green, but as it ferments and matures over years, the color turns brownish. In this way, the persimmon wine becomes a dye. After coating the liquid in several layers, the brilliant persimmon brown manifests a unique shade not achievable by chemical dyes.

Using this ancient dye, the craftspeople at the workshop in Ohara, Kyoto manually dye our products relying on their masterly techniques as well as the clean water supply of Ohara.

Cherish our persimmon products, as they age and their colors deepen.

“Gion Koji”-Kikuume’s Original Series

Different traditional Japanese colors are used to express the impressions of the names of the leading alleys (Koji) in the Gion district in Kyoto.

Natural plant dyes are extracted for dyeing, and their color is soft.

Those products can be used in daily life, or as a gift for relatives and friends.

Kikuume’s original "Gion Koji" series invites you to experience the unique charm of the alleys in Gion district.