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Gift Ideas

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The following handcrafted gifts have their origins in the Edo Period (1603-1868), and can be unique mementos of Japan for participants to take back, for not only their intrinsic aesthetics to admire, but also their practical use at home or in the office.
Sensu folding fans (1) – The folding fan owes its allure not only to the superb craftsmanship and decorative skills involved in hand-working selected materials. It is beautiful in form and function. There is an art to opening and closing the fan. Fancier versions have hand-painted artwork or elaborately patterned material toward the grip.
Bamboo blinds (2) – Bamboo blinds and mats have a multitude of uses. Simple bamboo placemats are fresh and cool contemporary decorative accents. Bamboo mats protect a wooden surface from heated platters or heavy vases. Other mats are for making sushi rolls.
Edo-style lacquerware (3) – Traditional lacquerware, usually created from wood but sometimes leather, paper or basketry, has been in daily life for centuries. Among the many popular gifts are soup bowls, hand mirrors and ornamental hairpins.
Edo lanterns-Chochin (4) – In the Edo period, a typical lamp had a frame of split bamboo wound in a spiral. Paper or silk protected the flame from wind. The modern chochin for festivals and other events are illuminated by bulbs. Miniatures are available as novelties and souvenirs. Ink-brushed characters on the surface can be personalized for your event.
Chopsticks – The traditional wooden variety is used for tableware as much as the fork and spoon. As gifts, they can be lacquered (especially delicate), and have hand-painted or inlaid designs. There are also bamboo, metal, plastic, and ivory crafted chopsticks.
Made in Tokyo T-shirts – The fabric, from a leading Japanese mill, is of the highest quality, combining softness and durability. You can use your design / logo to create an original T-shirt.
Edo Karakami Komono – Small Edo-style decorated paper items and stationery include placemats, fans, postcards that have seasonal patterns, and handy items for great cultural gifts.
Kiriko cut glass – This traditional method began in the late Edo Period. Craftsman Kyubei Kagaya carved on the surface, imitating UK towns’ cut-glass technique. Europe influenced and advanced the art in the Meiji Period. The craftsmanship developed over 150 years remains in the hands of a few, with Tokyo designated as the center.
Furoshiki folding cloth – Ingenious classic square, useful for gift-wrapping since it conceals the shape inside, is light, and can be re-used often. There is no one set size: from hand-sized to larger than a bedsheet. Modern furoshiki can be made of silk, chirimen, cotton, rayon, and nylon, and often with traditional designs.
Noren cloth banners – Designs can be either traditional or contemporary, and in a wide color range. Noren can be hung across the entrance to the kitchen, just as at restaurants, or as a modern wall hanging.
Maki-e Stationery – Maki-e artists use a variety of metal powders, including gold, silver, copper, brass, lead, aluminum, platinum and pewter, to create colors and textures on lacquerware. Such popular decorated gifts include ballpoint pens, USB memory chips and letter openers.
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