1. Tenugui Multi-Purpose Cloths are meant to be enjoyed year-round in a multitude of ways, but these traditional, hand-dyed Japanese cotton cloths are extra special when they arrive in seasonal prints to celebrate the new year! The 'ox' print is perfect for recognizing the wonderful ox in your life (strong, loyal and inspirational), while the 'tai' print and 'lotus root' print are great omens for the upcoming year ahead. Tai fish are a symbol of good luck in Japan, a play on the Japanese word for happiness which is 'medetai'. With its ring of holes, lotus root encourages us to keep an open mind to new ideas in the new year, and a metaphor for how we can all peer into the future by gazing through the lotus root.
2. Serizawa Calendars completely sell out every year, and it's not surprising why. These small desk-top calendars are made from the original block prints of Japanese national treasure, Keisuke Serizawa, who popularized block print art through his colorful annual calendars. While Serizawa is no longer alive, his family reproduces his calendars every year using his original patterns so that present and future fans can enjoy his works for years to come!
3. Shinkogei Animals are traditional folk craft - enjoyed by children and adults alike in Japan. Made from hand-dyed, vegetable-dye cotton filled with rice chaf, which are then stitched and shaped into an array of beautiful and whimsical animals, these little creatures can be wonderful ornaments for display or a safe and all-natural toy for babies. The ox shinkogei in particular this year (roaming next to our red-knot basket) is a wonderful way to celebrate the zodiac and the wonderful ox!
4. Welcome Tai Soaps are shaped like the good-luck fish known as 'tai' in Japanese or sea bream in English. Tai fish are thought to represent happiness, a play on the Japanese word for happiness, 'medetai'. These bright and happy soaps are whimsical representations of happiness and good luck, helping you welcome these things into your home in the new year. Enjoy the good vibes and good suds!
From all of us at Tortoise, we thank you for sticking with us through a challenging year. Your encouraging words and supportive visits never failed to humble and surprise us. We wish everyone a wonderful and safe new year, and hope for the very best ahead. Thank you!