Dinner with Oji Masanori

April 19th, 2010

We were very excited to meet one of our favourite designers Oji Masanori (Masanori is his first name). We arrived at Honancho station and met with Masanori’s friend and distributor Takaya. We took a very short walk and up a flight of stairs to Masanori’s home where we unlaced our boots and donned a pair of comfy slippers (that he of course designed).

We were welcomed by some amazing retro touches: a beautiful textural tile wall in the entrance and white and blue geometric tiles in the bathroom.

We were lucky to get permission to take some photos from around the home. Can you spot the mjolk business card?

Everything is neatly filed, managed with little drawings.

We really loved these brass hooks. We’re going to start carrying them at the store.

Before I came to Japan I was obsessing over an amazing artisan named Ryuji Mitani. I looked all over Tokyo for his work but couldn’t find it anywhere. I asked Yumiko from Fog Linen if she knew where to find any, and she took us to a small shop above a cafe that had a full set of handmade spoons by Mitani. Needless to say I bought the rest of their stock.

I took my new collection to dinner with us to share with Masanori. I was unaware of his own beautiful collection of spoons including the baby spoon by Mitani (Juli edit: they totally nerded out).

I can’t even put into words how beautiful Masanori’s chopstick rests are. This is how a set of three looks when they are put away. Nice enough to keep out on the table! We’ve already put in an order for the store, and for ourselves, as we picked up a couple of pairs of chopsticks to use at home.

We were presented with two glorious plates of sashimi.

It was so nice to see the brass knife stand it person, it was so substantial and you could really appreciate the unique quality of the brass.

The three different styles of chopstick rests. I can’t decide which is my favourite…

More plates of food starting coming out.

The asparagus with wrapped pork was a big hit.

It was so cool to see all the brass bottle openers out and ready for action.

Everyone got a chance to open up a bottle of Sapporo. (Takaya is on the left)

They all worked flawlessly. (Oji Masanori)

More wooden spoons!

I love this picture.

That is one GIANT bottle of sake! Our glasses were never empty. Sadly the bucket on the right is out of production (now being used as a toy box).

Masanori’s been holding out on us! We want the long handled broom!!

(left) Tsubomi wind chime. (right) an acrylic clock — one of Masanori’s first designs.

We couldn’t help but notice the oxidized brass knobs on all the cupboards. Inspiration?

Masanori’s son made a great drawing. I think Masanori is on the left since he is known for wearing white shirts.

Zombie attack!!!

It was so sad to leave. Thank you so much for your generous hospitality!

Filed under: Travel | 7 comments

7 Responses to 'Dinner with Oji Masanori'

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  1. Are you going to stock the brass knife stand? For me, that looked stand-out!


    19 Apr 10 at 7:06 pm

  2. We will definitely carry the knife stand, I’m not sure exactly when it will be available for sale yet..

    John & Juli

    20 Apr 10 at 7:47 pm

  3. Those little wooden spoons are perfect. I wish we had some (along with that Arne Jacobsen set). Your Japan trip coverage has been amazing and the photos are super! We’ll get together for some Japanese soon. In the meantime staying tuned in for more trip stuff. Keep it coming!


    21 Apr 10 at 7:58 pm

  4. Great. I look forward to it. A good knife stand is few and far between.


    21 Apr 10 at 10:15 pm

  5. Wow, those spoons!


    22 Apr 10 at 2:26 pm

  6. Nice photos!
    Just for interest-The guy on the left in Masanori’s son’s drawing is Bakabon no papa, from the Japanese manga called Tensai Bakabon. This manga and then anime series was the inspiration for The Simpsons.


    6 May 10 at 9:13 am

  7. Wow Mary, that’s a good eye you have! Thanks for enlightening us!

    John & Juli

    11 May 10 at 2:41 pm

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