13 Sep 2023

Animal Motif Must-Haves: Treat Yourself or Gift a Friend!

Who doesn't adore the charm of animal motifs, especially when paired with exquisite craftsmanship? For many, certain animals hold symbolic meanings, and are woven with cherished memories. 

Whether you're shopping for yourself or hunting for the perfect gift, animal motifs have that magic touch that gives an item a warm personal flair. We invite all animal lovers to enjoy this blog as we unwrap some fantastic finds that marry animal motifs with the elegance of traditional Japanese artistry.


  • The Purr-fect Gift for Cat Enthusiasts
  • Swimming in Japanese Elegance for Fish Motifs
  • Bird-Inspired Beauty in Design 
  • Playful and Peaceful: Rabbit Charm

The Purr-fect Gift for Cat Enthusiasts 

Cats exude an enchanting allure with their playful pounces and slumbering snuggles. Their captivating poses have danced their way onto the canvas of Japanese tableware and figurines, making them beloved motifs.

Kutani Lucky Cat - Maneki Neko C

Many cat enthusiasts appreciate the charm of a lucky cat, and in this Kutani ware porcelain piece, that beloved charm is exquisitely expressed. Radiating with intricate decorative designs and vivid patterns, its rich black hue captures the essence of luxury and its wide open eyes mesmerize, drawing you into its charm.

Known as a harbinger of good financial fortune, the raised right hand of this cat promises prosperity. Gifting this captivating piece will surely deliver a smile and good fortune. For oneself, every glance towards this cat could brighten a day, making it a source of joy and inspiration.

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Neko Chigura Cat Mino Ware Ramen Bowl M

Introducing a delightful gift option for both cat lovers and those looking to treat themselves! The heartwarming expression and pose of the calico cat, beautifully depicted on the exterior, add a touch of playfulness. Its versatile size accommodates other noodle varieties such as udon and soba, ensuring a delightful dining experience no matter the choice of noodles.

The endearing sight of a content, squinting cat will infuse your dining table with a joyful ambiance. Whether as a thoughtful gift or a personal treat, this Mino ware ramen bowl promises to bring a touch of feline happiness to every noodle-slurping moment.

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Swimming in Japanese Elegance for Fish Motifs

Fish hold profound symbolic significance in Japanese culture such as auspiciousness and prosperity. This timeless motif has been captivating our hearts for generations. Enjoying tableware and crafts adorned with spirited fish motifs would be a cheerful nod to Japan's deep-seated maritime traditions. 

Kosen Kiln Medaka Rice Fish Imari Nabeshima Ware Tumbler

Delicately hand-painted, this tumbler tells a story of the fish's joyful dance in the water. From their graceful swimming motion to their distinct, vibrant coloring, this tumbler will let you bathe in its serene beauty. The celadon shade, reminiscent of clear, tranquil waters, serves as the perfect backdrop for the vivacity of the medaka design.

For all the fish enthusiasts, it holds the promise of delightful moments, whether you're gifting it to someone special or pouring yourself a refreshing cold beer on a cozy evening. 

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Seven Fish Nambu Ironware Wind Bell

Fish aficionados will adore our Seven Fish Nambu Ironware Wind Bell. From the exotic goldfish to the elegant flying fish, this wind bell is decorated with Japan's iconic fishes. Crafted in Iwate Prefecture, the sound of this wind bell is famed as one of the "100 Soundscapes of Japan." 

Each sway captures the essence of fish gliding through water, all while giving your space that extra splash of style. Beyond viewing the different designs, one can also revel in the calming melodies produced by the ironware fishes as they sway gently in the outdoor breeze. For those enchanted by artful fish designs, this wind bell is a gift that charms both eyes and ears.

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Yoshita Kasho Koi Fish Maki-e Glass Sake Cup

An artistic masterpiece. Each delicate fin line and the graceful arc of the fish's  body captures the enchantment of the koi fish in this sake cup crafted by lacquerware maestro Yoshita Kasho.

There's a belief that premium sake ware can enhance the taste of sake, and this cup certainly lives up to that. It offers an added layer of refinement to your sake experience. Packaged in a sleek box featuring the Yoshita Kasho emblem, it is an impeccable gift for individuals who relish the splendor of fish and the nuances of sake.

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Bird-inspired Beauty in Design

In Japan, as around the world, we're captivated by the beauty of birds. These winged wonders, touching the heavens, have not only inspired our art for centuries but have also gracefully perched themselves as charming motifs on crafts and tableware.

Two Cranes and Landscape Kutani Japanese Flower Vase

Imagine the elegance of two birds in mid-flight, their wings splayed in a breathtaking display of nature's splendor. Now picture these birds intricately painted on a vase; they are brought to life with hues of pristine white and delicate lines of shimmering gold.

This vase encapsulates the free spirit and majestic beauty of the bird world. Whether you're considering gifting it to a bird enthusiast or treating yourself to a touch of luxury, this Kutani ware vase serves as a lasting reminder of nature's beauty. 

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Bizan Kiln Sakura and Bird Kutani Sake Set

Upon this hand-painted sake carafe, a vivid blue Japanese magpie gracefully rests on a wild cherry blossom tree. This traditional Japanese artistry animates every plume of the bird, rendered with such exactness that one can nearly sense its soft silky texture.

The botanical motif enhances the bird design, turning the entire set into a visual spectacle. For those enchanted by avian wonders and the natural world, this set serves as a sincere gift, mesmerizing with its detailed hand paintings.

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Hirota Orange Bird Edo Glass Soy Sauce Dispenser

There's a comforting allure in the silhouette of a resting bird. Hirota Glass brings serenity and cheerfulness to your table with their delightful soy sauce dispenser. Adorned with multicolored glass grains, the vibrant orange hue emanates warmth and coziness.

And functionality isn't sacrificed for beauty – pour soy sauce from its beak, and any excess will gracefully flow back into the dispenser, ensuring no drips. Whether you're seeking the perfect gift for a bird enthusiast or just looking to treat yourself, this piece is sure to enchant.

Playful and Peaceful: Rabbit Charm

In Japan, rabbits are more than just charming creatures; they're symbols of  prosperity, advancement and tranquility. With roots in 'Kawaii' culture and moonlit legends, their endearing motifs evoke feelings of warmth and auspiciousness in every depiction.

Golden Moon and Rabbit Kutani Matcha Bowl Chawan

For those who hold a special affection for rabbits, consider gifting this exquisite matcha bowl that carries a touch of Japanese folklore. Inspired by the belief that rabbits reside on the moon – a notion drawn from the rabbit-shaped craters – this bowl beautifully showcases these lunar bunnies leaping across a field of pampas grass under a gleaming full moon painted in gold.

Crafted meticulously on a potter's wheel, the bowl radiates warmth and comfort when held, offering a joyous experience for the user. A gift like this captivates those fond of adorable hopping bunnies.

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Yamanaka Lacquerware Animal Design Series Children's Soup Bowl

Children have an innate fascination and love for animals, their imaginative minds captivated by their delightful antics. Our Yamanaka lacquerware animal design series taps into this wonder, presenting a wide variety of tableware items decorated with endearing animal motifs. 

Among this series, this children's soup bowl stands out, featuring a darling pink rabbit that's sure to spark joy in any young animal enthusiast's eyes. This easy-to-hold bowl not only simplifies mealtime but also boasts a lacquerware finish to ensure that soups and hot dishes stay comfortably warm to the touch.

This piece is great as a birthday present or a gift for milestone occasions such as the first day of kindergarten or sitting at the table for the first time with family members. 

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There's a universal charm in animal motifs that speaks to the heart, making them ideal for gifts or as a special treat for oneself. When these delightful designs merge with the timeless elegance of traditional Japanese craftsmanship, the result is truly unique. These pieces don't just enhance celebrations; they leave lasting impressions, turning simple gestures into loving memories.

To learn more about the symbolism behind different animal designs in Japanese culture, also take a look at our blog What Is the Meaning of Animals Painted on Japanese Tableware?