Toys made from love and wood.

For some time now we have been on the hunt for a Japanese toy range that is skillfully made, thoughtfully designed, gorgeous to look at and has both a playful and educational function.

Mastro Geppetto wooden toys ticked all these boxes, and we are excited to now have them in stock!

The coccolo rattles remind us of a macaroon in a heart!

In the summer of 2009 in Minami-Aizu, a team of woodcraft people, a wooden furniture company, sawmill workers and a toy maker/designer Shuhei Tominaga got together and created the Mastro Geppetto toy company.

Designer Shuhei Tominaga

The resulting toys truly represent the local designers and craftspeople of Minami-Aizu. Mastro Geppetto has attracted much interest in design and media circles, including Monacle and CoolHunting.

Fava rattle…the beans stay snug in their pods

‘Noe’, inspired by “Noah’s Ark”, contains twelve superb individually – crafted cedar pieces and is presented in a beautiful cedar box designed for display, gift giving and presentation – a special gift that will last many lifetimes and be played with many generationally linked fingers.     

noe (1)fws

zoouprightnoe box   ‘Noe’ animal set

Made from a special yellow cedar, Noe is resistant to water so it can be played with in the bath. Under a little pressure, the animals will stick for a while to the bath and tiles! The cedar scent is relaxing and delicate, making playing and bathing even more enjoyable.

Wood has such a comforting, honest feel, and these toys make you realize just how wonderfully simple the concept of “toy” can be. You and your child will stop and slow down to balance, arrange then rearrange, and imagine playful adventure stories and animal conversations together for many years.

We know they’ll make you smile!

*all photos courtesy of Mastro Geppetto

Steinbeck’s best friend: the iconic Blackwing lead pencils in store now!

Check out our new Palomino range and the iconic Blackwing lead pencils in store now!

You’ll find yourself in the best of company, with John Steinbeck, Frank Lloyd Wright, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Chuck Jones all having used and cherished their own Blackwing pencils.
Any artist or writer will attest to the importance of smooth, easy – gliding pencils that instantly respond to light or heavy pressure. Just like a musician’s instrument,  a pencil needs to be an extension of your hand.
Long, sleek and with an unmistakable, elegant and striking ferrule and eraser design, Blackwing pencils offer both aesthetic and functional superiority and an incredibly smooth, velvety and dark black writing line.
The world’s most famous pencil is made in Japan from genuine incense cedar and is available in two iconic models – the Palomino Blackwing (for artists) and the Palomino Blackwing 602 (for writers).
The special graphite formulation of the Blackwing feels like you are drawing with butter. An amazing pencil for sketching, the line is very black and the lead very soft, wearing away to a soft point.
The Blackwing 602 is made for writing and is firm and smooth. It has a dark grey lead, good point retention and writes true to its motto: Half The Pressure. Twice The Speed! So you can write pages and pages of script or notes in record time, without your hand tiring, or the lead becoming dull too quickly.
Palomino pencils are also available in beautiful coloured box sets and luxury limited edition gift box sets which make handsome gifts for any occasion.
High quality palomino sharpeners and replaccement erasers complement the Palomino pencil range.
A superb manufacturing quality not often witnessed in a world where volume has overtaken craftsmanship, these pencils are testament to Japan’s capacity to produce superior products across a wide range of goods.
We wholeheartedly recommend and approve!!
Shape: Hexagonal.
Finish: Thick lacquer.
End cap: Matching cap with a gold band perpendicular to the pencil core.
Core: HB graphite.
Markings: Gold Foil. PALOMINO
Origin: Premium qality Incense Cedar; manufactured in Japan by a highly-respected pencil maker.

MT Tapes best Washi Tapes around!

MASKING TAPE MT (Japan):

A few years ago, three women (a gallery owner, an artist and a graphic designer) made a trip to the Kamoi industrial tape factory with a simple idea. Armed with a small book filled with their ideas for coloured and patterned tapes for artists and craftspeople to use, they approached management to persuade them to consider experimenting with colour and design in their tape production.
These women then featured 17 Japanese artists of designs they wished to have in a second more extensive book. Originally trading as makers of fly catching paper in the early 1920s, the Japanese company Kamoi was convinced this was a interesting and new direction for the company.
Following an exhibition in Tokyo and in their home city, Kamoi realised the ladies ‘ideas, launching the masking tape (mt) label with a wealth of single colour and patterned tapes focussed on fun, design and functionality.Beautifully packaged, thoughtfully produced, the mt range elevates adhesive tape from everyday stationery to a unique, surprisingly versatile, art, craft and design object.
Hi and welcome to Mimoto. My name is Elizabeth, I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband Mark and my 3 kids in an old factory conversion in the inner city. I have loved Japan and Japanese design since my friend Yuki (an exchange student who lived with my family) introduced me to his country when I was 11 years old.
I now visit Japan often, discovering new and exciting design. Mimoto is an eclectic and curated mix of products you won’t be able to get easily anywhere else.
I love exploring all things Japanese. I cook Japanese food, read books from old and new Japanese writers to try to understand how the Japanese think and act, I learn Japanese to understand the relationship of writing and culture. My home is influenced by japanese style and ‘wabi sabi’, loving the raw, roughly hewn and natural elements thrown into modern design and life.
 In Japan, design is life. Life is design. Form follows function but neither is the master. Design in Japan is sometimes organic, sometimes deliberate, sometimes cultured and nurtured. But design is the loci, the cultural centre, intrinsically understood and witnessed everywhere, celebrated, beautiful. I travel across Japan to find artists, designers and craftspeople whose products represent Japan’s special design aesthetic and build on their unique design heritage.
This blog is about Japan and its intriguing sense of design. It is about how this sense of design permeates everything they do, how they live, how they interpret the world, how they interact with it. I want to help Japanese artists and designers further their art, carry on their ancestral design skills, celebrate their exceptional talents and spread the word about what’s new and exciting.

So I’ll be regularly posting articles and photos about Japan, about the things I get to see and do on my visits there, and introduce new products and trends, and artists and craftspeople I meet. Please sign-up for our email newsletter. And you can follow us on twitter here, too. Enjoy and stay tuned because i’ll have some great new and interesting things to show you!

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