The Last Bastion of Traditional Tokyo Tsuzura
Join us explore a true rarity, Iwai Tsuzura, the last remaining traditional tsuzura store in Tokyo, and one of only four left in Japan.
These beautiful lacquered containers were once predominantly used for storing kimono and related accessories which brought this shop on Amazake Yokocho, east Nihombashi, in the heart of the kimono dealers of Edo to prominence over 200 years ago.
While its tsuzura are now more likely to be used as chic additions to interior decorations, or as storage for practically anything the owner has in mind, the classic yet contemporary designs are as relevant as ever.
A Tradition Contained in a Single Room
Now helmed by chief craftsmen Ryoichi Iwai, who keeps the traditions passed down from his ancestors since the 17th century. Upon entry you are greeted in an instant by the entire journey the tsuzura will take to completion, a task that is all carried out in one single room. From the woven bamboo baskets waiting to be coated in washi paper, to those waiting to be coated in a base coat of persimmon and shiny lacquer and tannin, right to the rafters where lacquered examples dry above the craftsmen beneath them.
Tsuzura Made with a Personal Touch
If you are lucky you might even catch Iwai at work, the central raised tatami area splattered with lacquer in the three distinctive colours that each tsuzura can be made in, testament to the activity as his brush darts over the surface of the box.
10-1 Ningyocho 2chome, Nihombashi Chuo ku, Tokyo 103-0013
Open hours / Contact (Japanese only)
9:00~17:00 / 03-3668-6058
*For inquiries in English, please email to the below.