Welcome to Old Japan. We are sad to announce that in January 2016 we closed our brick and mortar retail store which was located in Boston, Massachusetts. We were forced into “early retirement” by a new landlord who wanted a tenant who could pay a much higher rent, as is so often the case with gentrification of an up-and-coming neighborhood. We are so sorry to go, after being in business for 26 years, first in New York City, and then in the South End in Boston. We grew to love our new neighborhood and neighbors, and made many wonderful friends and customers. We will miss you all, but hope that you will continue to look for us on our website, and also Facebook.
You will find our best-selling, favorite items as you search through our website, but if you visit our retail store in person you will find so much more; many one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, fabulous textiles, or truly unique gift items. Things we searched long and hard for, and fell in love with. Sometimes they include things that are not Japanese, but something new and original that we absolutely want to have in our store. This year we are proud to add a fabulous line of Kantha jackets and vests, created by my wonderful designer friend Mieko Mintz. You can
We have been in business since 1990, with our first store on Bleecker Street in New York City. We specialize in the beautiful and the unique, with an emphasis on small, affordable Japanese antiques, kimono, indigo textiles, and inexpensive gift items. We are proud to carry some of the finest incense in the world, made by two traditional companies, Shoyeido and Nippon Kodo.
We carry only what we love, the things that we would personally want to own, or look at, or use. Our pieces capture the refined beauty of traditional Japanese crafts, or the rustic sentiment of Mingei folk art. Whatever we carry in our store, we want it to reflect what we consider to be our “personal best”.
Within our consideration of “personal best” is the well-known Japanese phrase, “Ichigo Ichie”, which means “One Meeting, One Chance…”, and is represented in the Japanese calligraphy at the top of our home page. Ichigo Ichie tells us to make the most of every “chance” encounter that comes our way, with every new person, and every new experience, because it may provide an opportunity that may never come again; an opportunity to do some good, show some kindness, change our lives in some new way we can’t even imagine… When you walk into our store, or call us on the phone to place an order, this is the credo we choose to live by, as much as possible. For this reason, we have chosen not to do online sales, but rather encourage people to call us directly to place an order. A bit old-fashioned, yes, but our custom is to talk to people as if they really mattered. Because they do.
Welcome to Old Japan.