Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Close out the Cares of this World with Elegant Japanese Fusima Doors

Friday, June 11th, 2010
Japanese Fusima Doors

Japanese Fusima Doors

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…)

The Perfect Reminder that Every Crisis Can Really Be an Opportunity

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Crisis & Opportunity - Deluxe Framed Print

Crisis & Opportunity - Deluxe Framed Print

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…)

Cover your Man in Yang Male Energy with this Navy Dragon Yukata

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Navy Dragon Yukata

Navy Dragon Yukata

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…)

Slow Down the Pace at Work with a Feng Shui Zen Sand Garden

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Feng Shui Zen Sand Garden

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…)

Savor the Textures of this Slate Bamboo Vase

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Slate Bamboo Vase

Slate Bamboo Vase

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…)

Add Some Color to Your Martial Arts Studio with Tatami Grappling Mats

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Tatami Grappling Mat

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…)

“Wax Poetic” in this Navy Haiku Kimono

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Navy Haiku Kimono

Navy Haiku Kimono

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

Experience the Magic of the Tibetan Basin Singing Bowl

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
Tibetan Basin - Fish Pattern

Tibetan Basin - Fish Pattern

There is something about the greenish-blue patina of this Tibetan brass singing bowl that makes it a very attractive piece for the garden or patio.  Maybe it is the engraved dancing Koi (carp) fish shown swimming against a strong current that makes this bowl so alluring; or perhaps it is the music it makes.

In Western cultures, it is a little unusual to find a brass bowl that “sings”, but the magic of the Tibetan basin is quite common in the East.  Just fill the basin with water halfway, rub the handles of the bowl lightly and listen.  The ensuing tones and reverberations will make the water splash up in the middle, and legend has it that the higher the water goes, the longer your life will be.   Similar to traditional singing bowls, Tibetan basins are also used for healing ceremonies and attunements.

Once you see the magic behind it, this Tibetan brass basin will become a “must-have”.  Even if you are not into superstition or making music, this handsome bowl makes an interesting piece to display on your outdoor table or patio. It is exquisitely crafted and replete with Japanese symbolism that exhibits a spirit of perseverance.

Whenever one sees two koi swimming upstream, as shown here, it brings to mind a spirit of perseverance, excellence and high ambitions.  Carp have also been known to bring scholastic luck and they are a symbol of intrinsic harmony in a marriage.  In China, the fish is often associated with wealth, success and an abundance of good fortune.

Each Tibetan basin is hand crafted and measures 8 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ and 3 1/2″ tall. Brass handles compliment the design.  Makes a unique gift for Mother’s Day!  You can click the following link to buy the Tibetan Basin singing bowl is hand cast in a greenish-blue Patina brass.

This Glass Cherry Blossom Pendant Complements Any Wardrobe!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Eco Glass Cherry Blossom Pendant

Eco Glass Cherry Blossom Pendant

Need a simple way to accessorize this spring?  Wearing a natural eco-friendly glass pendant is a smart and inexpensive way to express your individuality and your love of nature.  The translucent turquoise glass of this beautiful Cherry Blossom Pendant will complement your spring wardrobe perfectly, while celebrating the beauty of the Japanese cherry blossom tree; and the best part is, each piece is a unique work of art.

Besides being a gorgeous piece of Zen-inspired jewelry, this Eco Glass Cherry Blossom Pendant is hand crafted and finished with a silver-plated bail against a multi-strand blue cotton ribbon.  Each piece is numbered and signed by the artist, and only 200 of each pendant is created, so you probably won’t see someone else wearing it.

The iconic cherry blossom tree is an important part of Japanese culture.  Not only do the trees symbolize clouds, they are also metaphorical in other ways.  With their stunning beauty blooming in the spring, followed by a quick death, the Japanese often equate cherry blossoms with mortality, or the ephemeral nature of life itself.  For this reason, cherry blossom patterns are a very important part of Japanese culture, appearing everything from art, anime and film to kimonos, bedding and dishware.

In keeping with the cultural influence on symbolism, Japanese fighter pilots were even known to paint cherry blossoms on the side of their planes before embarking on a suicide mission or bring cherry blossom branches with them on their missions.  The government even tried to persuade people to believe that the souls of lost Japanese warriors would be reincarnated into blossoms.
Whenever you put on this one-of-a-kind Glass Cherry Blossom pendant, you will be reminded of the rich traditions associated with this colorful tree. The 100% recycled glass pendant is 1” x 1” square and is fused with a nature photo that has become part of the glass. The necklace cord measures 17” in length. Why not buy one for yourself and someone you love.  It makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift!

Bring Good Fortune to Your Outdoor Space with this Large Garden Buddha

Monday, April 5th, 2010
Large Gaden Buddha

Large Gaden Buddha

Now that the spring weather is finally here, it’s time to create that meditative space in your garden where you can soak up the sun and feel at peace with the world.  This tranquil spot will not be complete without the iconic beauty of a Garden Buddha.

Before the Buddha became a common fixture in the Asian garden, it had long been a symbol of mythology and good fortune.  Hindu gods like Krishna, Ganesh, Vishnu and Buddha have given people of the Hindu and Buddhist faith a tangible deity for worship, while bringing to mind the cultural heritage of the stories they tell.  Ever since the 8th century, when the Pala and Chola empires arose in India, bronze statues have played a major role in shaping the beliefs of Hindu worshippers.  Today, they are used as inspiration for people to develop the inner qualities that bring happiness, satisfaction and good fortune.

This masterfully designed Garden Buddha is seated with hands folded into a mystic triangle, which is symbolic of the fire that consumes all impurities.  It also represents the three “jewels” of Buddhism, which are the Good Law, the Sangha, and the Buddha himself.  By keeping this Buddha in your garden, you will continually be inspired to achieve your full potential in life, which will help you develop the qualities that bring your dreams to fruition.

This Garden Buddha is cast from a high-quality, weather-resistant aluminum alloy and coated with a patina-like finish.  Measuring 16” wide and 21.5” tall, the bottom has a soft protective covering that will keep it from damaging tabletops.  Whether you get a Large Garden Buddha for yourself or as a special gift for someone else, it is certain to become a conversation piece.