Bring a flavour of the Far East to your interior with these authentic Japanese home accessories
From peaceful, Zen-inspired simplicity to the dazzling colours and patterns of kimono fabric, Japan is a country offering a whole world of interior design potential. Here we take a look at five of our favourite Japanese home accessories and give a little background behind each one to provide you with some inspiration.
Our top 5 Japanese accessories for the home
- Noodle bowls
Look out for bowls featuring traditional Japanese patterns or modern, abstract motifs – ideal for display purposes or for dishes such as udon, soba and ramen noodles.
Seikaiha. Literally translated as ‘blue sea and waves’, seikaiha is a geometric pattern formed of overlapping concentric semicircles and originally found on garments used for traditional court dances.
Sumibudo. Umi budo (literally ‘sea grapes’) is a type of seaweed characterised by its shiny green, bubble-like leaves and an Okinawan delicacy, it also makes a splendid design feature on this distinctive two-tone noodle bowl.
Kiku. This elegant bowl features a delicate, indigo blue chrysanthemum design. A symbol of longevity and rejuvenation in Japan, the chrysanthemum is an iconic motif that can be found on everything from fashion accessories to the Japanese passport.
Sendan. The abstract design of this bowl in indigo and white gives the impression of sendan (‘a thousand lines’) – a fabulous addition to modern kitchens and living areas.
- Wind chimes
Infuse your home with a gentle, melodious tinkling reminiscent of Buddhist temples. Choose cast iron for rustic appeal or go kawaii with a ceramic animal charm.
It is said that wind chimes were originally hung at each corner of a temple to frighten away evil spirits. Today, they remain popular throughout parts of Asia as a symbol of good luck and an important component of Feng Shui.
Make a statement in any room of the home with the unique character of Japanese crackleglaze. Gold detailing bursts dramatically from a mottled, deep turquoise background, a striking contrast that is heightened by stark black edging.
The production of crackleglaze stems from kintsugi (‘gold joinery’), the art of using gold dust to fix broken crockery. Nowadays, crackleglaze is typically made using gold-coloured epoxy paste, but the effect is very similar.
- Woodblock prints
As Japanese art goes, no form is so iconic as the woodblock print. From the atmospheric landscapes of Hiroshige and Hokusai to the captivating portraits of female beauties, kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers by Kiyonaga, Utamaro, and Sharaku, a woodblock print will bring an instant hit of Japanese character to your home.
Literally translated as pictures of the floating world, ukiyo-e (woodblock printing) is a tradition that can be traced back to the early 17th Century. The form is extremely diverse and covers a range of subjects, as the above examples demonstrate.
- Kimono-inspired accessories
Brighten up your home with the vivid colours and intricate patterns of Japanese kimono, including washi paper prints, photo frames and wall calendars.
The exquisite patterns found on kimono and yukata have inspired the design of a great many decorative objects over the centuries, including chiyogami paper, household textiles and ceramics, and of course, the modern, cardigan-like ‘kimono’ that is taking the high street by storm today.
All the Japanese home accessories listed above (and many others) are available from The Japanese Shop. Browse the range here and buy online for free 2 – 3 day UK delivery on orders over £50.