12 JUNE 2017

Collection of Genji
Moon Viewing at the Katsura Imperial Villa

Written by 11th-century noblewoman and novelist Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji is considered a classic work of Japanese literature and offers a unique insight into the imperial court lifestyle of the period. Constructed in the 17th century in the area depicted in Shikibu’s literary classic, the Katsura Imperial Villa was designed with “moon viewing” as one of its main themes and hosted a wide range of events that centred on admiring the moon. The Japan Store presents a special exhibition featuring a collection of products inspired by moon viewing at the Katsura Imperial Villa.  

Featured items

Tea Party Set by T. Nishikawa & Co


Founded in 1917 in Kiyomizu, Kyoto, T. Nishikawa & Co has been promoting the area's famous Kiyomizu ware for almost 100 years. Developed in collaboration with makers of Nambu cast ironware in Iwate prefecture, Nishikawa’s teapots come in two sizes and have a sturdy cast iron body and a porcelain lid adorned with a colourful check pattern inspired by the Katsura Villa. Extending upon the theme of moon viewing, the cast iron teapots are paired with cups suitable for both tea and alcohol.

Black bowls with gold foil motifs by Hakuichi


The production of gold leaf in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, dates back to the 16th century and has traditionally been linked to the decoration of temples and shrines. Known for producing contemporary products that showcase the qualities of this traditional material, Kanazawa-based Hakuichi developed two series of bowls based on the image of a moon viewing party.

Incense by Sohitsu Hachiya


Developed under the direction of Sohitsu Hachiya of the Shino School of Incense Kodo, Kogado produced incense inspired by moon viewing at the Katsura Imperial Villa. The two varieties of incense represent the moon floating in the sky (gold edition) and the moon reflected on the pond (silver edition). Available in limited quantities and presented in specially designed boxes, the incense was produced by blending more than ten fragrances in new combinations.

Dinner Party Set by Traditional Arts Super College of Kyoto

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Traditional Arts Super College of Kyoto is a university dedicated to the study of traditional crafts and is home to numerous young yet highly-skilled artisans. The dinner party set features a selection of the university’s artisan-made items: plates representing the pond water and decorated with the villa’s check pattern; a bamboo tray with various traditional designs related to moon viewing; and small ceramic cups for enjoying sake.

Letter Set by Kirakaracho

Founded in 1674, Kirakaracho is the only karakami (printed paper) shop in Japan that has remained in operation since the Edo period. Developed by Kirakaracho's 11th generation owner, the simple letter set is decorated with traditional patterns and is one of a number original items that are expanding the possibilities of the traditional material.