We reuse your bags!

If you have extra paper bags at home, we are glad to reuse them as our bag at TGS. So please bring them and let us reuse as our original!!

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A special customer…

Today, one dog came into our store by himself!

First, we thought the owner of the dog would be around the store,
but soon realized that no one was with him.

So we decided to make “found dog” fliers, and Keiko, the owner of our store went around asking the neighbors if they knew anything about the lost dog.

One of the shop owner on Abbot Kinney told us that he saw a young man stopping cars on the street while the dog was crossing.

About four hours later, one of our friend who lives in the neighborhood called me,
and told me that her neighbor knows about the dog!
By following the information I got from her, I finally found the dog owner’s house!

Thanks to everyone who lives in the neighborhood,
the dog was able to get back home safe and sound!
Thank you, every one!
I love Abbot Kinney!


“Saori” workshop!

TGS just had its first saori weaving workshop!
The “sa-” in “saori” is a Zen Buddhist term that means “each thing has its own unique quality” and the “-ori” means “weaving.”
Thus it is more than just a technique; it is the philosophy that each person has a latent intuitive, creative power and the aesthetc that embraces the natural beauty of unintended “mistakes” and encourages exploring the unknown.

Here are some photos of people weaving on saori looms in the back terrace of TGS!

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Thank you!

Today a Japanese lady around early 20’s suddenly called us in panic and mentioned she got lost. I found out she was pretty close to us so I asked her to stop by TGS. She appeared with fear and mentioned her hotel is in downtown. (She seems a visitor from Japan and can hardly speak English.) Anyway, why I wanted to share this story with you is because there was somebody who told her to call to TGS for help! What a sweet advice. If you are our neighbor, we are so happy to be in such a good neighborhood and if you are a visitor, thank you for remembering us!


Fall TENUGUI patterns!

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We just received new Fall patterns to add to our great collection!
Also a fun pattern for Halloween!

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earm more about TENUGUI:

Size: 1′ x 3′
Price: $13 each

**Unfortunately we can not sell this item online, so please call in for availability : 310-314-8448


New TGS!

It’s been two weeks after we finished the renovation.
Have you already checked the new looking TGS?
If you haven’t, please come and see us!!

During the renovation…

before

We look more “general store!”

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July 28th, 29th, and 30th

We will be closed on July 28th, 29th, and 30th for renovations!
Looking forward to seeing you all at the New TGS!

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Tin Plated Steel Cans!

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Something that changes their look in time as you use!
These products are made for casual purpose, so it is ready for everyday use.
Find your own way, and enjoy how it get oxidized and change color!

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Here’s one of my idea to use this box for:
As a special gift box!

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Box
S: $16 ea  8″x4″x2″
L: $18 ea  9″x5″x2.5″

Round
S: $10 ea 3″h x 3″d
L: $12 ea  3.5″h x 4.25″ d

to learn more about Tin Plates Steel Cans


Sumi’s baby was just born!

Our store manager Sumi gave birth naturally in Santa Monica today, June 11th. As you might have heard, they did not know which one until birth, but it was a beautiful and healthy boy! Sumi is taking on maternity leave for a while but lives close to the store so you may see her carrying baby nearby soon. It is Sachi who is in charge of managing the store now. She is a  very energetic and charming person. Please stop by to say hello to our new store manager!

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More patterns!

More Tenugui has arrived here from Japan today!
This time we received new patterns of Folk Tools as you see on the photo.

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from left:
cooking tools
cleaning tools
woodworking tools
sewing tools

Size: 1′ x 3′
Price: $13 each

Unfortunately we can not sell this item online, so please call in for availability : 310-314-8448

Read more about the Tenugui cloth.


ubugi – baby kimono

Ubugi is the first kimono which the mothers used to make for newborn babies back in the old days. What is so clever about this ubugi is that it can be worn from new born to 24 months! When the baby is a newborn, it is used to wrap the whole baby (use the inner ribbon for better fit). When the baby grows, take the hand stitches out at the shoulder so it extends and becomes a kimono shirt.

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to learn more about ubugi


Summer TENUGUI patterns!

summer tenugui

We just received some summers patterns to add to our collection!

TENUGUI, a hand dyed cotton cloth, has always been an essential tool for the Japanese. not only was it used as a wiping tool such as a towel or a handkerchief, it was also used as a bandage or a head wear in the old days. Since it was possible to dye various graphic designs, kabuki actors printed their names and gave them out on their debut shows.

To let dry quicker in such a humid country like Japan, and for multipurpose use, the ends are UNFINISHED so it will fray after first few washes. After your first wash, do not pull but cut the strings, then it will stop. Today people have found even more ways to use it, from table napkin to tapestry for decorating their homes.

Size: 1′ x 3′
Price: $13 each

**Unfortunately we can not sell this item online, so please call in for availability : 310-314-8448


Koinobori

Kodomo no Hi (meaning Children’s Day) is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month. It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.

Before this day, families raise the carp-shaped “Koinobori” flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming). These carp-shaped wind socks are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other non-woven fabric. They are then allowed to flutter in the wind.

Landscapes across Japan are decorated with “Koinobori” from April to early May, in honor of children and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.

And we just got our beautiful “Koinobori” at both TGS and Tortoise!

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sneak preview on new arrivals from Japan!

Arrived here from Japan today!

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Here’s some preview.

animals notebooks

What’s inside? You will see more at TGS soon..!
Come and see these little crafts!!


See, Feel, Play, and Learn!

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These Books and cards are not only enjoyable for your little ones but for adults!

Katsumi Komagata is originally from the graphic design field started creating books and materials using paper inspired by his baby-daughter in 1986.

The animals, nature, and vivid colors caught my eye as turning each page,
and the beautiful-touch story is memorable.
I can imagine your baby will enjoy touching the paper texture for every page!
Or they can peek through the hole in the middle of the card,
and say “peekaboo!”

It feels like I touched his original world reading these books.
and I also experienced the infinite possibility of ‘paper’
through his works.

This is the book that I want to give to my friends who is going to have their little one soon!
learn more about Katsumi Komagata books

*book title of the image:
What Color?
Play with colors
Friends in Nature


feels like summer

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It is still March, but daylight saving time started this past Sunday, so technically we are at summer time here in LA!

It was sunny and beautiful on Abbot Kinney this morning, I thought I’d share it with all of you.


oh how i love this kettle…

kettle

I have been using this stainless kettle by Sori Yanagi for more than five years.
(If I remember correctly, this is the first product I purchased from the store!)

This kettle is not just about the looks – it is very functional as well as economical!

1. Steam holes are on the side of the lid, so it does not burn the handle
(usually the holes are on the top which heats up the handle).
2. Wide surface on the bottom boils water so much quicker than average kettles.
3. Wide opening helps easy-cleaning.
4. With its slender poring mouth, water does not drip.

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This is a great gift for anyone who appreciates minimal design
or a nice cup of tea in their everyday life :)

learn more about the kettle


baby boomer!

The baby boom is coming to Abbot Kinney! (at least around myself)
I meet so many customers and friends who are going to have babies this year!

I would like to introduce some great products for those of you expecting a little one soon.

The donut-shaped baby pillow from F-style!
Why donut shaped?
The donut shape helps holds the babies head stably and also shapes
the back of the head nice and round.

Since many Japanese parents let their babies sleep on their back,
some people including myself have ‘flat back-heads’.
When people see someone who has a “flat back-head”, they say
“your mother left you in bed for a long time!” (of course it’s a joke)

The pillow cover is made of highest quality organic silk cotton and
has a beautiful Ainu embroidery.
This embroidery is a symbol of protecting people from evil spirits.

They also designed baby socks using no rubber but only gauze
which prevent the babies feet from tighten up by the socks.
The gauze also fits on their feet very well, so it won’t come off so easily.

I sometimes see baby socks on the street.
I believe babies will love this comfortable socks and wont’ take it off on the street!

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learn about F/style


Tokyo to Kumamoto-city

Continued from my last blog.
As all my co-workers know, I love to shop!
As expected, my husband and I did a lot of shopping in Tokyo:
a couple pairs of shoes, clothing and lots of small things.
I brought one of my favorite furoshiki-bag as my extra shopping bag,
and look! (I’m sorry I made the bag look so big, but it is a beautiful bag in any shape!)
This bag was very reliable to carry tons of things I bought!
We actually carried this furoshik-bag all the way from Tokyo to Kumamoto-city!

Also enjoy a couple of pictures from my hometown!
There are many place to visit!

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furoshiki-bag


Valentine’s Day in Japan

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Valentine’s Day in Japan is an event when only the women give presents (mainly chocolates) to men. Japanese women are usually too shy to express their love (at least in the old days!) therefore, Valentine’s Day was thought to be a great opportunity to let women express their feelings.

Interesting enough, this “tradition” was created as a marketing idea by chocolate companies which wanted to increase their sales. And it has been very successful. Girls run to high-end department stores to line up to buy the limited-edition chocolates for quite amount of money. It is said that chocolate companies in Japan sell more than half of their annual sales during the week before valentine’s day. But the companies did not stop there. They also created “White Day (March 14th)” which is when men who received a gift on Valentine’s Day give a gift back to that woman.

However, I just read an article, that now it is okay for men to give gifts to women on Valentine’s Day. I guess the chocolate companies are desperate!?

learn about Akane Vase