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Tortoise Staff's Animal Favorites - A Round-Up!

Animals have the power to bridge the gap between our modern lives and the natural world.  In the same way, our favorite animal-inspired products bring the spirit of the animal kingdom into your home. Here are some of our favorites. 

These charming bird whistles make a sweet 'poh-!' sound when you gently blow through their tails. Two kilns combined their respective specialties to design and produce these sweet, palm-sized objects that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.  

Shown: Tsugaru Bird Whistle

 

monkey iron bottle opener from Japan Tortoise General Store

At rest or actively in use, this monkey bottle opener is sure to crack a smile.  Place this monkey on a shelf, and it's friendly face and happy arm gesture lend a positive feeling to your kitchen.  When it's time to have a drink, just use the top of the monkey's head to sharply lift your bottle caps.  Bottoms up!

Shown: Iron Monkey Bottle Opener

Sure to be a conversation piece, these multi-purpose utility knives are shaped like whales.  They're perfect for small whittling like sharpening your pencils, or paring some fruit on a camping trip, or maybe cutting some cheese at an oceanside picnic.  Hand-forged using traditional techniques for making swords, these knives are functional, but more importantly, fun.  

Shown: Whale Knives - Sperm Whale, Fin Whale, Minke Whale

When you first lay your eyes on kiln-owners, Sadami and Keiko's perfectly poised ceramic dogs, you can't help but feel some nostalgia.  Maybe it's hidden in the expression that reminds you of your beloved family pet, or maybe you remember your grandmother having similar figurines in her home while you were growing up. Whatever the reason, these ceramic dogs are sure to put a smile on your face whenever they come into view!

Shown: Ceramic Dog Figurines

Just hanging around can spread a lot of cheer!  These iron monkey hooks can link hands to create a chain, or can be used solo; hung off a nail or ledge to hold a tea towel or some decorative dry flowers.  They're even sweet when they're not holding anything at all!

Shown: Iron Monkey Hooks 

The word "medetai" means 'happy' in Japanese, so naturally the Tai fish is the symbol for happiness.  Enjoy these good smelling soaps in your washroom - in either red or black - and remember to be happy.  These are considered "welcome soaps" because they welcome more happiness into your home!  

Shown: Tai Fish Welcome Soaps - Black and Red

Considered one of Japan's most famous porcelain designers, Masahiro Mori created many important designs in his lifetime - earning over 110 Good Design Awards over the course of his career.  One of his most charming and beloved contributions to the design world were a collection of porcelain animals. He wanted them to be strictly ornamental, their purpose simply to bring joy to everyday life.  Choose from pigs, cats, pigeons and elephants - all in black in white - they're sure to delight.

Shown: Masahiro Mori's Porcelain Animals


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