Friday, September 18, 2009

Sweet Aroma

Now we have new incense for our shop!
They give the room a warm sweet aroma that makes me feel calm.
We have 5 different aromas for short stick incense.
Wisteria, Balloon Flower, Cherry Blossom, Plum Flower, and Japanese Red Maple Leaves!
We have everything you need for a relaxing weekend now :)
Books, teas, handmade ceramic cup and plate, and incense.
What else do you need for a perfect peaceful Sunday?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photos for online shop

We are taking photos of each product for our online shop.
They came out pretty nice.
Our masterpieces from Japan really make me feel peaceful and we just cannot wait until the online store is ready to share with you some more of the photos.

This is one of the biggest pieces we have and just an amazing art work.
You can imagine lots of different sceneries from looking at it.
It's fascinating that the artist gets these patterns naturally just by ashes in kiln!
A craft that he has been perfecting for many years.

This piece is actually a lampshade with carved sakura, cherry blossom flowers.
It really reminds me of the night in early spring in Japan.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our Showroom

We have decided to close our showroom in Newport Beach at the end of this month.
Casanooah will open an online shop sometime in October and be attending various events and festivals with our products.
Of course, we keep our blog updated!
Please stop by here or our website for up coming news!
We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stone Ornaments

Our garden stone ornaments are very old.
Most of them are older than the United States!
They are hand carved and used to be at samurai houses and castles.
I know they are not cheap for a piece of stone, but a wonderful history comes with them.
It is so much fun to picture people in a kimono washing their hands out of these water basins.
It is so pretty when all those lanterns are lit with candles inside!
It is true, historical objects do tell a story.

Photography by Emet Martinez

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Tsubo

One of our ceramic works was featured in a Japanese magazine last year before it arrived to our store here.
It is made by Tochi Nakano, the 4th generation of potter in Karatsu City, Saga.
This yakishime vase compliments mixture of branches and flowers.

16" height 18" 

diameteryakishime = After a piece is formed out of clay, it is fired "as is" without the addition of glaze.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chopstick Workshop

In Japan, we use chopsticks everyday.
(Some people eat spaghetti with them too!  I can't since it's too slippery.)
But not so many people have made their own chopsticks.

Our chopstick workshop started at 10 am.
People first choose the wood they liked by sight without actually knowing what type of woods they are.
Saburo, the instructor, brought about 20 different kinds.
Each looks, smells, and feels so different from one another.
Everyone picked what he/she liked at the first impression and started carving.
It was a quiet peaceful moment when everyone was concentrating on their work.

The picture above was provided by Arcy, one of the participants.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It's been pretty hot recently and I really like it!  Every day is a perfect day for the beach.
What does hot weather make you crave for?
It makes me want to drink iced tea or juice in nice glassware.
I thought it would be nice to carry some these glassware for summer.
In the photo, shown are some of the handmade blown glass.
It is definitely fun to use different types of tableware for each season :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009


In Japan, almost everyone can make origami cranes.  All Japanese kids learn how to do it.
I don't remember exactly when I first learned it.  I just instantly remember how I go about once I start folding a square piece of paper.  

It is said that your dreams will come true if you fold 1,000 cranes.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial parks are filled with those cranes to hope for world peace.  People also make cranes as a get-well gift for the seriously ill.

I'm sure there is something like this in other countries as well.
Let me know what people do in other cultures and countries!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yo's wood carving

I was thinking about how amazing wood is.
The aroma of it soothes your stress away.

Yo and I met a few months ago through another artist.
He showed me some of his carvings then and told me how he started getting into his art.
Yo has a really soft mild voice when he talks just like a gentle breeze going through woods.

This is my favorite piece of his, in the picture above.
You can sit or lay on them and it gives you a nice sensation.
I tried it and it just feels so good.
Each ball massages pressure points gently.

I hope to be able to make something as beautiful as this one day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Green

Isn't it so relaxing to look at fresh green leaves?
I am so lucky to work in such a great environment.
We have different kinds of plants and trees in the Japanese garden behind the shop.

Ivy vines are covering the walls and they are so green now.
They are actually our neighbors' and wanted to immigrate to our place :)
How nice of them!

The family is growing.  Baby leaves are everywhere.
It is just amazing what nature can give us.

Happy 4th, everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beauty in Nature Reception

It was a really nice day last Saturday and the reception went really well.
My favorite of Emet's photos are the Koi series, especially the square ones you see in the photo above.
Each square is assembled by four square panels.  You can separate those into a vertical or horizontal line or however you want.
It is a very traditional Asian motif, but very contemporary as well.  I love the mixture!

Yo's wood carving workshop was held outside the shop.
He put a Japanese fisherman's ship flag on the ground for everyone to sit on.
I love those flags because of the vivid colors and the Japanese writing.
It is such a perfect idea to use it as a picnic sheet.  I will get one when I go to Japan next time.

The exhibition is until August 29th!
We are looking forward to seeing you soon :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tatami Mats

When I used to live in Japan we had a room with tatami mats in the house.
I did not think it was anything special because everyone had one.
Now that I am living in the states,  I miss it.  I miss laying around and smelling the dried tatami plant.

It reminds me of my grandparents' home.
It reminds me of the calligraphy class I used to take.
It reminds me of old Japanese life which I just know from films.

I just feel so calm when I'm on the mat.
It's like sunbathing in woods by a lake listening to birds singing.

Photo -  Tearoom next to the shop

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bizen Tsubo

This is my favorite tsubo.  I'm in love with the color, shape, size, and texture.

This lovely piece would compliment any style of furnishing from traditional to modern.

I enjoy pretty things that will fit with any style so I don't get bored of it :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I did not like sukiyaki at all when I was a child.  I just couldn't stand non desert food that tasted sweet.  I thought cakes and chocolates should be sweet, but I could not understand meat, especially with rice...
People say that your taste buds change as you grow and for me it did.  I actually like sukiyaki now.  It's not my most favorite food, but I like it.
When I was in Matsuzaka, Japan I had some amazing sukiyaki.  Matsuzaka is known for their great beef and how it really melts on your tongue.  So I guess good sukiyaki has to do with the quality of beef.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Bowl of Matcha

Why is it so good?
I love my matcha time.

Tonight after we had sukiyaki for dinner, we had a bowl of matcha with a Japanese sweet.
I feel very Japanese.
It's a very indulging time.

I just don't really have high tolerance for caffeine...
I might have to stay awake late tonight...
Recommended in early in the day...

Photo - matcha in Raku Yaki bowl at the shop

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pottery Studio

This is the pottery studio of Taketoshi Ito's in Mashiko City, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan.  My uncle took this photo and I really like it.
It rains there a lot especially around this time.  I did not like it at all when I used to live there.  Your shoes would get soaked wet and they get worn out easily.  You want to protect all the paper works from water so you put umbrella on your bag, but not on yourself.  For some reason it smells like sewage in the city more in rainy day.
Now, I live in this nice dry weather and I really appreciate it, but sometimes I feel like walking in the rain.  It makes all shiny.  Trees and flowers look happier.
Well, you realize it when you lose it.

By the way, his works are amazing :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Event and Food

Our featured event, Beauty in Nature, is coming up.  I am so excited!!!
Every time we have an event, I cannot sleep deeply.

It's like being an elementary school kid going on a school trip.  That's what we have in Japan every year in spring time.
I was always so excited for not only being away from school, but the lunch box my mom made and snacks.  I did not like the bus ride so much though since I got sick easily.

Well, we are having my mom's homemade food at the reception.  This is an authentic Japanese mom's recipe.  We also are going to have something we did not have on school trip.  We are making this special amazake.  It is a traditional sweet Japanese alcohol made by sake rice, but we make it special.

I hope to see a lot people :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First Blog!

Hello everyone!
I created this blog because I felt every culture might be interested in learning more about  Japanese way of life. 

To give you some background about me, I was born in Japan and moved to California when I was in high school.  I had a chance to work on musicians touring Japan. I traveled all over the country there and encountered beautiful art, crafts, and foods. It was during this time that I decided that I wanted to share the Japanese lifestyle with the rest of the world.  So then I got inspired to open up a shop in Newport Beach, California where we sell Japanese handmade ceramic works, garden ornaments, books, and teas.

I hope to meet many new friends and show you what I have learned from my experiences in Japan.