Located on the east side of the metropolis, Taito Ward holds a unique culture of the Edo era. Contrary to the modern bustling cities of Shinjuku and Shibuya, Taito Ward is known for its rich culture and tradition.
Valued by locals and tourists alike, it is home to iconic areas including the Sensoji Temple, Ameyoko Shopping Street, Ueno Park, and various famous museums including the National Museum of Western Art, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the flower viewing season in spring, it gets crowded with people rushing to take pictures of the breathtaking view of the cherry blossoms overlooking the Sumida River.
Birthing traditional handicrafts such as 江戸切子(Edo Kiriko) cut glass, 江戸木版画 (Edo Moku-hanga) woodblock print, and 江戸手描提灯 (Edo Tegaki Chouchin) hand-drawn lantern, Taito Ward is home to highly sophisticated craftsmen protecting and developing traditions transcending time and space.
Producing Glassware with Skilled Craftsmanship
Since its establishment in Asakusa, Tokyo in 1931 as a wholesaler, Kimoto Glass Tokyo has been engaged in the glass business for over 90 years. Specializing in Edo Kiriko, a traditional glass craft technique, their highly skilled craftsmen have been protecting tradition whilst innovating to cater to the present market. Edo Kiriko flourished along with the glass industry during the Taisho to early Showa period.
However, due to mechanized mass production of glassware and cheap imported products, the glass industry has recently been in decline. Because of these reasons, many manufacturers had no other choice but to shut down, resulting in fewer work opportunities. This then led to fewer next generation craftsmen, thereby resulting in less successors of the craft.
Preserving Japanese tradition through Edo Kiriko and other glass tableware for nearly a century, the craftsmen of Kimoto Glass Tokyo are determined to use their highly sophisticated skills and artistic sense to create not only traditional patterns but also modern patterns to suit modern lifestyles.
Tradition and Modern Fusion
With nearly a century of experience as a wholesaler in the industry, Kimoto Glassware Tokyo strives to create a new perception of glass products by utilizing their unique wholesaler's viewpoint and working together with handmade glass manufacturers in downtown Tokyo, Edo Kiriko glass craftsmen, designers, and creators.
Edo Kiriko, the most famous glass craftwork in Japan, is one of the myriads of traditional crafts that represent the country. It is a technique in which the surface of a glass is cut to create beautiful patterns.
From glass blowing to buffing, this craft of cutting glass is an elaborate and complex process that needs not only skill but also patience and great care. Different tools, such as wooden boards and rubber boards, are used by polishing craftsmen to skillfully process the glass surface.
Considered a luxury, Edo Kiriko is used not only for glass tableware but also for daily necessities and lighting. Well-known traditional Edo Kiriko patterns are chrysanthemums, hemp leaves, bamboo leaves, and cloisonne patterns.
Through the partnership of leading Edo Kiriko craftsmen and talented designers, Kimoto Glass has produced innovative products such as the MOON - the Black Edo Kiriko, a jet-black glass with a modern cut, expressing the waxing and waning of the moon wherein the full moon will appear when a drink is poured into the glass and the moon wanes as one drinks.
What are you looking for in your glassware?
Looking at the market trends, our innovative designers and experienced craftsmen are constantly asking themselves, “What are the customers looking for in their glassware?”
Through working together with handmade glass factories in downtown Tokyo, Kimoto Glassware Tokyo craftsmen and designers wholeheartedly create beautiful, inspiring, and out-of-this-world products with endless possibilities.
Carefully crafted to perfection, we hope that these products will bring joy and happiness and make the precious moments with your loved ones more special.
The Black Edo Kiriko received the Grand Prize in the 5th Tokyo’s Traditional Handcrafts Challenge.