The long-standing history of Tsunoda Seibee Shoten, located in Wakayama Prefecture, begins in 1830 near the end of the Edo period (1603-1867) as a specialty store of Kishu lacquerware. The origin of the store's name dates back to the Kanei period around 1620, when the merchant Tsunoda Seibee traveled from Kishu (present-day Wakayama Prefecture and Mie Prefecture) to Edo (present-day Tokyo) on foot to sell lacquerware made in Kishu.
ABOUT Tsunoda Seibee
Yasushi Mori is a veteran ceramic artist who has been creating Bizen Ware for over fifty years as the 18th generation of Hozangama.
He has taken the tradition of Bizen Ware and incorporated new elements into his work in a diligent manner. He has held solo exhibitions throughout Japan for long time, and since 2000 he has been also working in his new studio in Hiroshima, also teaching young ceramic artists.
His works are unique, playful, and elegant, representing a modern Bizen Ware while preserving its traditions.
The Wonder of Kishu Cypress
Products from Tsunoda Seibee are crafted using coniferous wood, mainly Japanese cypress. Wakayama Prefecture, where Tsunoda Seibee is located, is well-known for its production of Kishu cypress. Although slower in growth compared to cedar, Kishu cypress retains a higher density and a heightened aroma, making it an ideal material for building structures and lacquerware items.
Wood possesses the unique property of adjusting moisture levels; under conditions of high humidity, wood draws moisture from the air to balance its own moisture level with its surrounding high humidity. This remarkable property of wood is what prevents rice from sticking to the surface of wooden bento boxes as the wood absorbs the excess moisture within the bento box.
And of all the various types of woods available, Japanese cypress delivers optimal balance as the ideal material for manufacturing bento boxes.