A few days ago we went to visit the maker of most of our maneki-nekos and took some pictures in order to explain you how they are made.
This maker is located in Tokoname, just a few kilometers from our place.
First the clay is mixed with some kind of big mixer and then is poured inside molds.
The molds are left for a while until the cats are dry enough.
Then they are removed from the molds and are are put in wooden boxes in order to dry. The time this step takes depend of the temperature of the place and of the size of the statues.
Once they are dry and became white, they are cooked in big ovens.
Before to be painted they have to be polished.
Finally they are painted one by one and left for a while to dry.
Golden models have to go through a second cooking process after they have been painted.
You can find the products made by this craftsman as well as other models here.
We have been working for a little while on this version adapted to smartphones whether they are Iphones, Androids, Windows…
It’s been tested a lot but as we cannot verify it with all types of devices please let us know if you encounter any bug or display problem.
Also please note that for tablets (ipads…) normal version of the website will be displayed. It’s a choice we have made regarding the size of the tablets’ screens.
To see this version simply enter the usual url: http://www.tokyo-smart.com/en/. If you use a mobile device you will be automatically redirected to this new format.
Updating the main website (mostly to improve speed and usability) and creating this mobile version took us a lot of times that’s why we haven’t done much updates neither on the blog nor on Facebook. We left Twitter a bit on the side at the moment as it’s difficult to do too many things at the same time.
As usual any feedback is much welcomed !
This big boy is a special order from a customer living in Thailand. He is 48 cm tall and weight about 5.5 kg!
We will take special care of him.
Just to remind you that we can provide special products which are not in our shop. That can be lucky cats like this one or other products that may be difficult to find.
So if you are looking for something special drop us a line and we will do our best to find something for you
Last Saturday we went to participate to a little local event called Mochi Nage in which six men throw dozens of rice cakes to people. This might sound a little bit strange to you but it perfectly makes sense to Japanese people as it is a custom.
It is believed that men’s disaster years are when they are 25, 42 and 61 year old.
So why these men throw tons of rice cakes ? It’s because they want to keep evil away by throwing these rice cakes which represents bad spirits.
Traditionally this event takes a place in temples or shrines or when a new house is built. A few men stand on the roof and throw rice cakes while other people wait on the ground to catch them.
It’s quite a lot of work to catch them as everyone want to get some.
We wish you a Happy New Year and hope 2013 will bring the best to you and your relatives!
New Year is a big event in Japan however Japanese people prepare and celebrate it in a very different way.
They traditionally want to start a new year with a fresh and clean mind and to symbolically get rid of all the bad things from the previous year by doing a big cleaning of their house and car just a few days before the end of December.
Despite internet it is also still very popular to send a lot of cards for the event before December 24th so it can be delivered exactly on the 1st of January. Note that if someone died during the previous year the members of his/her family should not send any New Year card.
Usually a variety of food is prepared for the next few days so there is no need to prepare anything for this resting time. At midnight it’s common to prepare soba to welcome the new year.
Unlike in many countries New Year Eve is not an especially an exciting event in Japan as most of people gather with family to eat and watch a TV music show on NHK called Kohaku which is broadcast every 31st of December since 1953!
If you have time and patience you can also grow the queue in one of the numerous shrine for a couple of hours in order to be able make a wish.
In our sides we still have many ideas and projects for Tokyo Smart including more pictures, more Facebook and even some videos!
See you soon for more news