Category: Craft

12 Sep

Kousyuuya – One Brush Dragon – is super busy

Juju Kurihara Arts, Craft, illustration Tags: 5 Comments

dragon 1 About two years ago, iromegane talked about the artist who draws a dragon with just one brush stroke. A few weeks ago, somehow this article bloomed and I had quite many inquiries about the shop. Most of them are the admires of this art and who were wondering if they could purchase this from overseas.

The shop, Kousyuuya (晄秋家) is located in Nikko (日光) where is about three hours of train trip from Tokyo station and a perfect day trip spot. Unfortunately their website is only in Japanese at the moment.



You haven´t seen the dragon? First, you can look at the brilliant brush technique here.


dragon 2

Since I received many inquiries, I decided to write to Kousyuuya. Despite of recent incredibly busy days, I had a very polite email back and he was apologising for being trouble. What a humble man he sounded!

In terms of English, they have a little difficulty and it takes time to read and respond since they need to depend on the internet translating system.

Early this year Kousyuuya was picked up in a TV program and since then they received tons of orders which is too much to deal with just one person. And this is why online shop in the site is not working and “メンテナンス (system maintenance)” is shown.

You can still order it but keep it in mind that it will take at least three months to receive. And only the standard size. Please look at the size & price chart

Two important things.

One, no credit card payment is accepted. Only international bank transfer. Or if you have a friend in Japan, you could ask them for a help to pay. 

Two, the work will be sent without the frame to overseas. I guess this is understandable. You don´t want to pick up small glass pieces from the beautiful dragon drawing. 


Do you want to contact Kousyuuya? Iromegane can help you. Please send us email for more detail.

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More about Japanese art

Drawing dragon with one brush

Zen calligraphy



Ryouri Shokunin

Cooking knives

Hakone yosegi zaiku


10 May

Sometimes Think About Environment – Eco Sponge

Juju Kurihara Craft, Culture, Entertainment, Japan Tags: 0 Comments

I´m not an ecologist. I´ve never stopped to answer WWF or Greenpeace survey on the street and probably I won´t do it in future, yet I feel quite humiliated when a dolphin massacre has revealed and many Japanese people say it doesn´t exist or when I see a whale restaurant owner is furious with the suspension of whaling. Or I try not to have a long bath every day when I´m in rather dry countries such as Australia or Spain.

Yes, I sometimes thing about environment.

As it says in Shintoism, ¨issun no mushi nimo gobu no tamashii (一寸の虫にも五分の魂)¨, the meaning is even a 3cm bug has 1.5cm of soul, every living has its life and it´s logic for all of us to live by compromising with people or the nature.


soap water I´ve seen in some houses in the UK and Australia, when people wash dishes, they make soap water in the sink, dip the plates and scrub them then put them directly in the rack to dry. They don´t even rinse the plates to get rid of the soap. They do it to save the water but I always felt a little uncomfortable using those plate as I felt like eating soap…

washing upMoreover, some people pick up the soaped plates and dry them with a cloth. Noooo, I shouted silently but if it´s their culture, maybe I should respect that.

Needless to say, I rinsed the plates and cups every time before I used them but without them knowing what I was doing. Sorry but eating soap is big NO for me.

It´s good to thing about environment and save water but there shall be more way to protect the environment for sure. I´d cut my shower to 20 minutes instead of a half an hour, I promise.


Maybe many of modern western houses have a dishwasher. Despite of the reputation being so high-tech, still not many Japanese kitchens have introduced dishwashers. So we wash by hands.

One day, I was doing a endless washing up and looked at this colourful washing liquid which made huge amount of bubbles with just 2 drops. At one point, washing became my job at home and I´d noticed my hands was becoming dry. 

Apparently those washing liquid contains synthetic surfactant and has nothing good to your skin. A few years ago, in some TV programs for housewives, they started talking about this sponge.

eco sponge

This is an eco sponge called ECO AKURIRUN, made of acrylic fiber.

With this sponge, you don´t need any washing liquid but you can clean regular grease of the plates. You can even get rid of burnt bit of the pans or the pots with a bit of bicarbonate.



It´s actually sugoi (impressive).

A cup with tea stain like this can be cleaned like,






this just with water.

Now you don´t need to worry about poor turtles swimming around the dirty soaped ocean anymore.




comicThis sponge has made a big boom in Japan and then people thought, hey this is actually a knitting. Why can´t we do it by ourselves instead of buying them?

This comic tells you that you can buy eco sponge for 320 yen but if you make them, you can make 10 of those from a ball of wool for 100 yen. 

She says, ¨what sort of posh person would be, paying 320 yen for one eco sponge¨.

Well, she is right. Only thing doesn´t convince me was she wants to make a song about her frustration….


So, now people are into knitting too. If you like knitting, you can try it. From here , you see the instruction but I suppose you can make in any shape you like, you can play around to make your kitchen a little more entertaining. You just need to buy acrylic wool.



Look, there are many shapes.

strawberry puff fish paw

I do know how to knit socks but yet I prefer buying eco sponge rather than doing it by myself. Yes, I don´t mind people call me posh, but I´m lazy and I rather watching my dog running in her dream.