Bringing Home the Daikon –
A long leafy white radish – in a charming Eco bag hand sewn by resourceful daughter Saya from a Sumida River dog scene tenugui, is a quirky presence in the kitchen. Blue & White has a way of making itself heard without raising its voice.
As common as a road sign, a garbage truck, or a policeman’s uniform, as ever present as clouds in the sky, stars too for that matter, waves on the sea, birds on a river, blue and white is always there. It may be the national banner of Japan, the traffic light (it makes people stop, look, and listen), the national colors. Blue and white is soothing, reassuring, safe, and crystal clear. In Japan it is everywhere.
I took photos of a typical day yesterday. Have a look at how blue and white it was. Every day is blue and white for me. But then of course, my eyes, and camera have filters. Be it the clothes I put on in the morning, the ceramics that serve me breakfast, the napkins that wipe my face, the sofa I sit on, the hangings on the wall, blue and white colors my days.
My first cup of morning tea in a chunky blue and white mug by Ai Kobo, a resourceful residential craft center working with cloth and earth and canvas to encourage people with disabilities to express themselves with their hands and win financial independence.
Dreamy scene to drink tea by and think of the day’s adventures, projects, plans.
Blue and white energy.
While tug boats chug by under the graceful Kiyosubashi (bridge) over the Sumida River.
On a dog walk under blue and white skies and the chaotic network of telephone lines and electric wires.
Food and drink along the way.
Drink of the day in an attention grabbing blue and white vending machine.
Try the Calpis! Fermented milk divine?
And sheets of dried konbu, seaweed, packaged in irresistible blue and white with a red kicker, are being unloaded from a van for storage in a nearby warehouse.
The blues and the whites have it!
Blue & white bridges over the ONagi river (canal).
And bicycle speed rules on the sidewalk.
Back at Blue & White Central
Windows filled with flowers and cups and bags and other enticements, invite passersby to press their noses to the window and be inspired, recharged by blue & white energy.
Welcome them to come in and browse through the blue and white treasures within. All handmade. All originals. All ready to help out and add spark to every day life.
Table Settings at Blue & White
Tables are the center of life and sitting around a table covered in blue and white nourishes and stimulates.
Rabbits and waves splash on the table and create bubbles an and swirls of energy, just waiting for leafy salads and other colorful grilled vegetables to perhaps to complete the feast.
Placemat ¥ 3,240
Tea pot ¥10,800
Tea cup ¥ 3,240
Larger plate ¥3,800
Napkin ¥ 540
Anything Goes on the Table.
Twin pentagonal sake cups are edgy containers for sake or soup or whatever needs to be served in style.With it a spotted napkin in gauze, and a Mottainai plate, rescued and revived with repairs in silver.
Yukata kimono quilted place mat by Reiko Okunushi ¥3780
Mended plate ¥3600
Sake cups ¥2160
Napkin ¥540 ¥945
Blue & White Rescue Society.
On an Aimomen, indigo look alike place mat ¥1620 in a variety of patterns a family of repaired blue and white dishes show you care enough to repair them and are proud to serve them and mix their patterns and shapes and ages.
No such thing as matching sets of china in Japan!
Antiques plates, rice bowls, bowls, sake pourers, sake cups from ¥500 – ¥4320
All one of a kind, so subject to being sold.
A special kind of blue and white.
Ai Kobo in Tokyo’s Setagaya, has a certain way with clay. Mainly working in indigo dyeing, this very Special Abilities workshop keeps coming up with new shapes and designs that make a fresh statement of hand made, from the heart, on the table.
Long plate ¥4600 • Cloud plate ¥1730
Half and half mug ¥1730 • Spoon ¥ 380 • Placemat ¥1620
OBento (box lunch wrapped in a snappy blue and white mini furoshiki goes well with a hand stitched indigo sashiko place mat. ¥3780
Tea in a rough cobalt T cup by Ai Kobo.
Spring wild flowers in a karakusa bowl. ¥3240
Nandina chopsticks in a handstitched washi cover.
Tea to choose from one of the washi covered tea cans will stimulate fresh ideas to write on the Otafuku note pad with fresh tea flowers as inspiration.
Tea cup ¥1800
Tea canisters ¥860
Note pad ¥300
Supper at Home
Beautiful dinner created by ever resourceful, ever thoughtful Akiko Morimoto, our newest and youngest staff member who is bilingual and artistic and fun. AND she’s a great cook! With fresh vegetables from her clothing designer Mum in Kanazawa, Takako Nishikawa, she prepared a delicious dinner, made even more appetizing by its presentation on a whole host of blue and white dishes. Of course there is no other color in the cupboard.
Mismatching, spontaneous. free spirited, blue and white encourages freedom to be original in cooking and menu planning and their presentation.
Be it penne with fresh tuna fish, or daikon salad, or japanese mushrooms in cream, blue and white sparks innovation and kindles good taste.
Blue & White in the Woods
Antique spotted teapot from Seto takes the pride of place on the deck at breakfast time.
Served with blueberry muffins, a delicious blue and white breakfast food, yoghurt perhaps, with a topping of blueberry jam on a blue and white cloth makes for a breezy homemade brunch on an every day Sunday.
Blue & White takes everyday out of the ordinary and into the devine.
And a drawer full of blue and white teenage towels makes even the clean up fun.