Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture is known as the Little Kyoto of Michinoku, the ancient name of the Tohoku region. In this area can be found historic samurai residences and the beauty of cherry tree-lined streets. It is also the location of Tomioka Shoten, a company that continues to hold dear the traditional methods of kabazaiku, or making things with the bark of the wild Japanese cherry tree. With techniques that have been handed down since the end of the 18th century, this traditional craft utilizes the natural beauty of bark from the wild cherry trees, its characteristic luster and rich hues. Among the refined tones of the products offered by Tomioka Shoten is one that stands out — the tea container.
During the kabazaiku preparation process, the bark is treated to function in a way that prevents humidity and drying, thus serving to protect the teas contained within, as their flavors are prone to deteriorate in humid or hot conditions. It also has a groove line engraved on it in order to accentuate the beauty of the cherry tree bark, providing a modern aspect to the container’s appearance.
Price: ¥7,560 for a canister (8.3 cm by 6.2 cm)
Manufacturer: Tomioka Shoten Co. in Daisen, Akita Prefecture
To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&dSpeech