From the beliefs of Zen meditation to forest bathing, Japan is a country with a long tradition of appreciating the act of calming the body and mind. Even if you are not ready to commit to a month-long temple stay, there are many simpler ways to re-organize your thoughts and find a moment of peace in your daily life. Triggering your senses with pleasing sounds, scents, touch, and visuals is one particularly easy way to a more relaxed mind. The amazing Japanese crafts introduced in this article are here to help with exactly that.
HOKUYO GLASS MILKY WAY OIL LAMP
Founded in 1949, Hokuyo Glass specializes in “Tsugaru Vidro,” a traditional glass craft of Aomori Prefecture. This gorgeous Tsugaru Vidro oil lamp has a subtle sparkle to it resembling the twinkling Milky Way stretching across a vast summer sky. Place it on your terrace and feel your mind relax as you watch its gentle flame.
FOO TOKYO WHITE CASHMERE NIGHTGOWN
Foo Tokyo aims to enhance the quality of the most important time in any person’s day: the time you spend from when you return home until you leave the next day. This luxurious cashmere gown wraps smoothly around your body, making you feel as if you were enveloped in a cloud of fluffy marshmallows. Watch your stresses melt away the longer you wear it.
NAKAMURA ROSOKU CANDLE IKARI TYPE 100 MOMME CARP
There’s something about candle light that instantly creates a calming atmosphere and makes us relax. Warosoku—traditional Japanese candles—are particularly soothing because they emit the so-called “1/f fluctuation” which is said to bring us comfort, like the intervals between human heartbeats, the shaking of trains, or the babble of a forest stream. Wind down your stressful day with this warosoku decorated with a hand-painted image of a golden carp, symbolizing luck, prosperity, and long life in Japan.
IKEHIKO TATAMI YOGA MAT SAKURA FUJI (60 X 180 CM)
Tatami is still a staple in Japanese homes, and for good reason: this traditional flooring is not only cooler than regular flooring in the summer heat, but has a natural fragrance from the woven grass that will soothe your mind. This yoga mat has tatami on one side that depicts cherry blossoms with Mt. Fuji in the background – the perfect accompaniment to a good yoga session. It also has non-slip thermoplastic rubber on the back, making it ideal for when you want to take your yoga sessions outside to enjoy the sun and birds chirping for an extra therapeutic effect.
YUSHIMA-ART INCENSE KAORIMON WHITE (SNOW HARE)
Have you ever entered a room and felt how a particular scent wafting through the air instantly made you feel at home? With this cute incense container, you can now carry a little bit of this fragrance therapy around with you. It is made out of beautiful and sturdy “washi” Japanese paper, and on its front is an image of a white rabbit which is considered a lucky charm in Japanese mythology. The unique container comes with a small sachet of incense to be placed inside it to give off a subtle and elegant scent wherever you place it.
J. FLAVOR * OZEKI LOTUS FLOWER LETTER LANTERN
Is there anything more heartwarming than receiving a letter from a loved one? With this unique “chochin” traditional Japanese lantern, you can send an encouraging or congratulatory message to a friend or family member while adding a calming atmosphere to their homes. The high-quality Japanese paper body depicts graceful blooming lotuses painted by hand and emitting a gentle light. The lantern can be ordered with a special gift box so that you can ship it off to the lucky recipient in style after adding your personal message.
OHNISHI TSUNE SHOTEN KAZA MIDORI DIFFUSER
Folding fans have been used by men and women in Japan for centuries, but this unique fragrance diffuser takes a new approach to the traditional accessory. After applying a fragrance to this fan-like diffuser, it is placed in an elegant vase that will look great on any windowsill or coffee table. Over time, the scent will change character from fresh and herbal to warm cypress and eventually to elegant amber and sandalwood, making you feel as if you’re immersed in a deep forest with sunbeams gently streaming through the foliage.
MARUSO LAMPSHADE KAWARA A
Maruso was founded in 1942 and is devoted to developing beautiful and long-lasting products that will bring joy to your home. Their sophisticated lampshade is made out of clay and is extra durable thanks to the higher temperatures they use in the firing process. Place a candle inside, focus on the patterns of lights and shadows borne from its elaborate geometrical design, and feel your mind center and your body relax.
WAYUAN FLOWERING CANDLE PLATE
This stunning candle plate is crafted by Noyori, a Buddhist altar maker that strives to incorporate its traditional craftsmanship in items that go beyond those intended for religious practice. It features a decorative pattern of cherry blossoms, reminding one of the elusive beauty of Japanese spring. Watch the candle light flicker, casting mesmerizing shadows on surrounding surfaces and creating a meditative air.
K+ STATIONARY WIND CHIME WHITE
The delicate sound of wind chimes swaying in a warm breeze carries nostalgic, relaxing summer memories for Japanese people. This particular stationary wind chime is almost like a piece of art for your living room. The main body of the wind chime is hand-crafted and comes in two variations: a glossy white Kiyomizu-yaki porcelain type, and a black Kyo-yaki type with a matte finish resembling traditional cast iron pots. Due to the variations in materials, the wind chimes have different sounds as well, with the white one producing an elegant, high ring and the black one giving off a lower, more subdued tone.
Relax the Japanese Way
Slowing down and allowing ourselves a moment of quiet contemplation isn’t always easy in our modern-day society and can feel like a luxury, but that makes it ever so important. We hope that these unique Japanese crafts will help you uncover new ways to relax your mind and body in an otherwise hectic world.