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This is "Zubonbo", thank you.

I, Kusumoto Kyoko, also known as "Zubonbo," grew up as the daughter of a folk craft shop "Bingoya" in front of Wakamatsu-Kawada Station on the Toei Oedo Line. 
From the time I was born, I grew up surrounded by folk art items and local toys. There were folk art furniture all over the house, and I used to live with folk art pottery, blown glass, stencil-dyed paper and cloth products, plant-dyed textiles, bamboo and woodwork. Of course, local toys were always in my house, so even if I went on a trip to a rural area, I couldn't buy anything as a souvenir.

However, until I became a staff member of Bigoya and was in charge of local toys more than ten years ago, I had little knowledge of local toys, even though it was something that was always so familiar to me.

At that time, I thought that any toy would be delivered immediately if I ordered it from the creator, and it would be easy to get. But I soon realized that it was a mistake. Each handmade local toy is carefully made over time, so many of them are out of stock and you start making them after ordering, and it is not uncommon for them to arrive months, six months, or a year later. Some will arrive when you forget them after a few years. I would be grateful if I could wait for many years to deliver it, but some of the makers are quitting or suddenly going out of business due to old age, which is a real shock.
And since local toys are handmade using natural materials, it may not be possible to make them due to climate or natural disasters. In some cases, the materials may not grow due to bad weather, the materials may not dry due to long rains, or the kiln or workplace may collapse due to typhoons or heavy rains, making it impossible to work.


As much as possible, I try to visit the creator's workshop to buy the work that is being made. If I can't go far, I'll talk to them over the phone. If I look at the place where they are actually making and talk with the creator, my feelings for the work will change completely. Listening to the stories of hardships and seeing how they are carefully manufactured one by one makes me want to give them to customers carefully. Then, I will send it out with the feeling of seeing off my daughter, "Be happy".

Local toys are made of natural materials, so it takes time and effort, and the price will never be cheap. If you make it with an artificial material using a machine, you can mass-produce it, and you can produce it inexpensively and stably. However, I don't dare to mass-produce it, but it is still made with the materials and methods that have been handed down from generation to generation, so I think that it is possible to create works that resonate with the heart.

JAPANCRAFT55 opened secretly once in 2016 when I was 55 years old. However, there was a slight problem, and my feelings were DOWN⤵️. This year, when I reach the 60th birthday, I will restart with a new feeling.
The world of local toys is really deep, and there are many things that I don't even know, and I think there are places where I'm ignorant from the perspective of a knowledgeable person. Especially, I don't have much knowledge about used toys and kokeshi dolls, so if I write something wrong, please point it out. I will study more about them.
I think it is better not to explain too much about each items. That's because I want my customers to make intuitive choices. Whether this item is good or bad, like or dislike, want or not, is a customer's preference, so I will try not to give my opinion as much as possible.
It would be a great pleasure to have a site that can be enjoyed by both those who are familiar with local toys and folk art and those who are not familiar with it.

JAPANCRAFT55 is an online shop only and has no stores. However, I can show the products in the Bigoya store. In that case, please be sure to make a reservation by email.

​I look forward to hear from you soon!

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My Story

What is "Zubonbo"?

When I started the blog of "Bigoya" in February 2012, I was thinking about what to do with the handle name.

I walked around the basement sales floor of "Bigoya" and saw the "Zubonbo", which was made of Japanese paper and shaped like a lion dance. In the instruction manual, if you look down the "Zubonbo" in the large dictionary, it is one of the local toys. Tokyo specialty. The one that can show the lion dance of the lion dance by folding the colored paper. Place the two on a board or tatami mat, and blow them with a fan, and the wind will come in from the empty space below the body, and the lion's body will be shaken up and down, left and right, and back and forth, and the lion will play and play. It looks like I'm here ... I was born and raised in Tokyo, and I decided to use this as the handle name because it's a specialty of Tokyo and the word "Zubonbo" also sounds interesting. Since then, all SNS have accounts with the handle name of "Zubonbo" or "Bigoya Zubonbo".


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.


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