News, updates, and stories on Tortoise, our artists, and artwork

Hot and Sunny Day on the Patio – New Items are Here!

We are enjoying the slight breeze on these hot end-of-summer days on our patio, and thought we’d share our new gallery arrivals!

The first image is our Matsusaka Momen Notebooks.

In the latter half of the fifth century, a weaving technology called ayahatori and kurehatori was developed in the city of Matsusaka, helping the city become an important center for Japanese fabric production.

The distinctive stripped patterns on the notebooks is called matsusaka jima, and the word jima refers to the strong thin veins running through giant willow tree leaves.  In the edo period, the matsusaka jima was a large part of fashion in Japan, and strongly associated with the period’s design and aesthetic concept called iki.  Iki describes an aesthetic style and way of life popular during the edo period, and if we translated this word to modern slang, it means ‘cool’.  Yup, even in Edo Japan, things were described as ‘cool’.  Folks who had iki appeared sophisticated and cool without looking gaudy or outlandish.  Matsusaka momen stripes on a beautiful woman for example, when viewed from a distance appeared almost invisible, but their delicacy and beauty appeared when viewed closely, and this fit very well with iki and its understated elegance.   The manufacturing process of Matsusaka momen is now regarded as a national treasure.  Many people in Japan, especially from older generations, often say that cotton is something they can’t live without for even one day, it is such a powerful spiritual asset.  We hope you feel this way when you use these beautiful and satisfying to hold notebooks.


The second image is Fukuiken Dust Bin and Tray.

This elegant dust bin and tray are from Fukuiken, Japan.  The dust bin is made from bubinga and the tray is made from walnut.  Each piece is handmade and has a unique grain and color quality. Made entirely from one single piece of wood and not from several pieces, you will be able to enjoy these pieces in your home for many years.

$240/dust bin $60/tray

Photo Oct 13, 5 04 48 PM

Photo Oct 13, 5 19 13 PM