The Great Wave, otherwise known as “Under a Wave off Kanagawa” is probably the most famous Japanese woodblock print bamboo jewelry by the well-known artist, Hokusai. The print depicts an enormous and threatening wave near the Japanese metropolis of Kanagawa, where Mount Fuji can be seen majestically rising in the background. It is actually part of a series of prints, all of which depict Mount Fuji under different conditions. (more…)
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Wearing an exquisite piece of Tibetan Zen Buddhist jewelry has a way of changing one’s mood, enlivening spirits and helping the wearer remember to live in the moment. With this extraordinary new collection of bamboo pendants, women can wear a symbol that recalls the days of graceful Geishas and natural scenes by 18th century Japanese artists. These hand-made mixed-media pieces are expertly crafted in the USA with beads made from hand-rolled metallic paper and strung with complementary colored wire. The whole piece is strung on a comfortable cotton cord with adjustable sliding bead knots.
The sweet and sultry aroma of incense wafting through your home can help you unwind after a long day. Incense also makes a creative addition a summer evening get-together. But all incense is not created equal. Lovers of Tibetan incense may not appreciate the fruitier scents found in the West, and Indian incense can have a completely different aroma. Whatever incense you prefer, this Brass Incense Burner with a Tibetan Buddha will make an excellent addition to your home decor. (more…)
How do you make a small living space more functional, or loft-style apartment cozier? The simplest answer is to create intimate spaces with a Shoji screen or with Japanese Fusima Doors. Similar to the impact of Shoji screens, Fusima doors can redefine the spaces within a room while adding a decorator’s touch. The major difference is that instead of folding up, accordion-style, they slide from side to side on tracking. They can also be used as actual doors for rooms or closet doors.
When most people think about home decorating, closet doors aren’t the first thing that come to mind. However, in Asian countries a Fusima door is quite common. Most of the interior doors and partitions found in Japanese homes are made from native woods, either in a lattice pattern or as a solid piece like these Japanese Fusima doors. (more…)
You may have seen the popular expression “Every crisis is an opportunity” on inspiration posters around the office, but did you know this saying has its roots in Chinese calligraphy? In choosing the symbolism for this word “crisis”, the Chinese used an interesting pictorial language. This framed “Crisis and Opportunity” print is based on the characters for “crisis” which, ironically, can be interpreted as “danger” and “opportunity”.
The ancient Chinese were wise enough to realize that no matter how difficult the circumstance or how dangerous the situation, a tremendous opportunity lies within the heart of every crisis. Hence, the phrase written below the characters on this print: “Every crisis is an opportunity”. While this may seem like wishful thinking to someone who is facing a real crisis, it proves the power of the human spirit to persevere and see the real lesson in every situation. (more…)
Ladies, do you want your man to look fashionable by the pool or spa this summer? Then maybe it’s time to start doing some early Father’s Day shopping. This striking Navy Dragon Yukata is certain to get attention and make your favorite guy feel like a million bucks. Perfect for lounging by the pool, as a summer bathrobe, or wherever he likes to relax, this 100% cotton yukata makes an impressive statement.
Made in Japan, the legendary dragon is emblazoned on this navy blue yukata, along with gray and white stylized clouds and calligraphy. The dragon is depicted across Asian cultures as one of the Four Legendary Creatures, each of which is the guardian of the cosmic “directions”. The Dragon guards the East, and was often painted alongside the other “creatures” (tortoise, tiger and red bird) to keep evil spirits away from early Chinese tombs. The dragon is also represents the spring season, the colors green and blue, and the element of wood. Its virtue is Propriety and it is an enduring symbol of Yang male energy. (more…)
The office is not usually a place that one would associate with quiet meditation and Zen gardens, but with this Feng Shui Zen Sand Garden, there is a way to bring a little Zen into your workday.
Zen gardening has its roots across many Asian cultures, and it is something that Westerners have often tried to imitate. The art of Feng Shui has made headway in Western culture as well. The problem is, most of us are so fast-paced and frenetic all the time; it is hard for us to slow down and appreciate the art of Zen meditation. While we generally value the need to live in harmony with nature, we have a conflicting need for instant gratification and the two do not mix. (more…)
There is something very appealing about the sight of bright spring flowers against the cold flinty texture of a natural slate vase. But when you add the hand-etched pattern of bamboo leaves on the body of the vase, it becomes a Zen work of art for your Zen home decor. This Slate Bamboo Vase combines all these elements beautifully.
In contrast to the natural-edged slate on the front of this contemporary vase, the sides are made of a shiny metal with a hand painted patina finish, giving it a fashionable edge. Its high-touch surface and substantial size makes it the kind of vase interior designers like to feature prominently in an entryway or on a mantle. Individually hand-split slate reveals natural clefting patterns and warm earthen color beneath the gray. Because the stone used on this vase is quarried from the earth, no artificial texture or color is needed to enhance the beauty of the slate. That is why the patina of the metal sides adds such a modern quality to the vase. (more…)
Before you start learning Judo, Karate, Jujitsu or Aikido, you will need to invest in some dense yet portable grappling mats. These Zebra Tatami Grappling Mats are known as the premier mat for the martial arts student. They are used by virtually every martial arts training center because of how well they absorb shock and offer protection from throws, stumbles and take downs. These firm vinyl-coated mats are tatami-textured and utilize superior 14lb multiple foam density technology. The 1.5” thick surface allows for quick movement and provides a sure footing for even the most advanced fighting styles.
Zebra is the premier manufacturer of colorful tatami grappling mats that can be laid down in various patterns and grids. Many martial arts studios custom order their colors to match the team’s logo. The bottom of each mat is covered with a hand bonded anti-slip rubber material. (more…)
According to the Urban Dictionary, to “wax poetic” means to become increasingly verbose and romantic in speech, or to become more and more like a poem. While these might not seem like the qualities conferred upon one by simply wearing a kimono; not all kimonos are decorated with this inspired Haiku design. If you’re looking for some poetic inspiration, why not try this Navy Haiku Kimono?
The Japanese art of Haiku is the most important form of traditional poetry in Japan, and like most Asian traditions it has a long and storied history. Haiku was originally perfected by the efforts of Masaoka Shiki in the 1890’s as a form of poetry that was to be written in such a way that it could stand alone as an independent poem, rather than being part of a longer chain of verses. The writer of haikus can describe almost anything he or she likes, but haikus are to be written with the goal of giving the reader a whole new experience of an everyday situation. Haiku poems are written in a pattern of 5, 7 and 5 syllables, and each haiku traditionally includes a seasonal word, or “kigo”. While many “rules” exist about writing Japanese haikus, there is no consensus about how to write them in languages other than Japanese.
When one looks at this alluring navy blue kimono, the vertical nature of Haiku writing is evident and arouses curiosity. Even if you cannot read Japanese, the striking white calligraphy of the Haiku pattern against a navy blue background may inspire you to “wax poetic” and get into a creative mood. This lightweight Navy Haiku Kimono is made with 100% cotton and has a matching belt, which makes it more of a Yukata robe for spring and summer. It makes a unique fashion statement when worn at the beach or by the pool, but it can also be worn when just relaxing at home. View the Navy Haiku Kimono in at www.chopa.com.