Clay cat exhibition at Koenji, Tokyo

From March 7th through March 15th, Risa Takahashi held a personal exhibition in a small gallery called KIYA in Koenji, Tokyo. There was a concern about the influence of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), but it was possible to finish it safely and enthusiastically. We introduce some of her exhibited and sold workpieces. Every cat has a unique name. Hope you enjoy! By the way, she gave me this cat mustache at the gallery!! I put it on top of my mask. Su-mi-ma Sen-bei The cat is eating a rice cracker apologetically. Japanese “Su-mi-ma-sen” means “I’m so sorry,” and “Sen-bei” means “rice crackers.” One day, when eating a rice cracker, Risa noticed…


Ise Shrine & 25th Maneki-neko Festival – 1/2

On September 28th (Saturday) and 29th (Sunday), I visited the Maneki-Neko Festival (Beckoning Cat and Lucky Cat Festival) held in Ise City, Mie Prefecture, where Ise Shrine is located. This is the 25th time this year!! It was 9.29 (September 29), which can be read as kuru-fuku in Japanese, which means happiness is coming.

Just Relaunched IROHASHOP!!

After a long hiatus we are now finally ready to announce the reopening of our IROHASHOP online store! As you will realize when you enter, we have completely changed the appearance of the shop using the latest technology. We continue our line of traditional arts and crafts centering on Ishikawa prefecture, but we are adding new items almost daily to build a full lineup of attractive pieces. Be sure to pay us a visit! The wars and other unfortunate events occurring around the world makes us wish for a more peaceful world. We wish we were able to do something about it, yet, at the same time, it is sad…

Fun Bonsai workshop at Bonsai Village, Saitama

The vibrant and twisted trunk of a Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) brings an invigorating freshness to the tips of each green leaf in the beautifully pruned foliage. In their tiny pots, Bonsai fascinate me as a symbol of the strength and vitality of nature. Although bonsai have always fascinated me, I have been daunted by the seeming difficulty of growing bonsai. However, one day, I found that a one-day hands-on Bonsai workshop was held in Saitama, and decided to give it a try – on a whim! The workshop was held in Seikouen, a Bonsai shop, located in Omiya Bonsai Village, Saitama prefecture. It was still very hot on the…

On a sunny Autumn day – 1

On a sunny Autumn day, I made an impromptu visit to Gotokuji (豪徳寺) which is said to be the Birthplace of Manekineko (beckoning cat). During the Edo era, there was a priest of a run-down temple named Koutokuin (the predecessor of Gotokuji) who was precarious about a cat and fed it some of his own portions. One day he mumbled to himself wouldn’t it be nice if this cat could usher in good fortunes.

On a sunny Autumn day – 2

While I stared out the window on the train, I was quietly pondering that I never had time to visit Gotokuji even though I’ve been blessed by the Manekineko more than my fair share. The train had just arrived at Gotokuji station. I got off the train hastily and took an escalator from the 2nd floor of the station to the 1st floor exit. Exiting the station, I turned left toward the Gotokuji shopping street where a relaxed atmosphere waited the commuters. Walking along the street, my eye’s caught Manekinekos in many locations.