Welcome to Old Japan. We have closed our retail store in Boston, but are continuing to sell our merchandise on this website. 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 this website, and also Facebook.
You will find our best-selling, favorite items as you search through our website; 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 online store. We recently added a fabulous line of Kantha jackets, vests, and scarves, created by my wonderful designer friend Mieko Mintz.
We don’t have a “Cart” system because we first started our website when there was no such thing. We encourage you to call us directly or email us if you have any questions. We are very friendly and love talking to people. Really, don’t hesitate to ask for more info.
We have been in business since 1990, with our first store on Bleecker Street in New York City, followed by a store in the Berkshires, and then in Boston.
We carry only what we love, the things that we would personally want to own, things that reflect 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 visit our online store, or email, 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 use a “Cart” system, 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.